Sparhawk, the hero from Eddings fantasy trilogy “The Elenium” is back. After he saved the nations on his continent, his wife and various other goodies, his future seems bright. But then news reach him that on the neighboring continent of Tamul a new (or rather old) evil is brewing. And even if Tamul is far away for the moment, it may not be far enough for the future, and so Sparhawk, his wife and various friends travel together with an army to Tamul to fight the new (or not so new) evil on its own turf.
While I enjoyed Eddings earlier efforts like “The Belgariad”, “The Malloreon” and “The Elenium”, “The Tamuli” was missing something. It’s hard to descibe exactly what was wrong, since many things worked fine, the prose flowed and I had fun reading it, the plot was good and moved fast and swift with many turns and twist. But somehow it all seemed to work too smooth, if problems emerged, the solution was presented at once in the next paragraph. Also the cast of characters had grown to such proportions that at times it feels like the author was working a checklist when he tried to cover what was going on with everyone.
But the worst was probably that most characters were missing rough edges, they all were lovely and clever and whatnot, but somehow you I couldn’t root for them like I had in the first trilogy. Maybe because then Sparhawk and his friends had been the outsider, while in “The Tamuli” they were the establishment. In the end I never felt any of the main characters were really in danger of losing or dying. Very annoying was also the attempt of the author to tie the second trilogy together with first, making the enemies in the first only pawns of the “real” evil guys. The only thing they achieved through this was taking away something from the far superior first trilogy.
Domes of Fire (1992)
The Shining Ones (1993)
The Hidden City (1994)