Tears of the Sun feels like a series of short stories fit together to make a novel. Rudi and Matti play very small roles in this book. Instead it focuTears of the Sun feels like a series of short stories fit together to make a novel. Rudi and Matti play very small roles in this book. Instead it focuses on the stories of several secondary and tertiary characters. There are visits to the past explaining the treason by House Lui and its consequences. There is a visit to the Buddhist monastery in Wyoming. There are a couple great battles including a covert op into Boise. Individually they are each good but collectively they just don't have the feel of the rest of the series.
I've been waiting impatiently to see how this story ends since the first book came out 7 years ago. The first three books are a neat trilogy of the death of the old world and the rise of a new one. Books 4-6 fit as a second trilogy of the journey to Nantucket. Book 7 was the journey back to Oregon and this one, book 8 is a lot of back story explaining events that took place in Oregon during books 4-6. This one just doesn't feel as much of a tight fit into the story arc as the first 6 books.
Perhaps he would have been better served to structure the series as a trilogy of trilogies. This one just feels a little indulgent and is my least favorite of the bunch. I'll still buy books 9 and 10 because I'm sure the finale will be worth it - I just feel this one to be slower paced than the others and that it is more sub-plot than plot advancement .......more
To a degree, writing a review about this book will only show that I’m somewhat biased in my opinion of it. This was my 4th time reading it since it caTo a degree, writing a review about this book will only show that I’m somewhat biased in my opinion of it. This was my 4th time reading it since it came out 17 years ago. Once every 4-ish years isn’t too obsessive. But, I adore this book. It’s massive in scope and it could have been a tragic failure of overreach but instead is just a beautiful accounting of life in 10th Century Europe and the Middle East.
The book opens with an almost magic relationship between Aidan, a Célé Dé monk and priest, the world around him and his God. It’s a more mystic relationship than most are painted as and very well done. As he begins a pilgrimage to Constantinople with his fellow monks and subsequently set upon by Vikings, his religion falters as he’s taken as a slave. Throughout the novel, one of the recurring themes is Aidan’s relationship to his God as his fortunes fall, rise again only to fall lower and rise even higher.
He is taken to Skania and from there eventually to Constantinople via Russia. He is a slave. He is a spy. He is an advisor to an Abbasid Amir. Eventually, he becomes something few attain, he becomes a free man.
The book itself is a great adventure and the themes are of loss and pain and failure and redemption. I’m not a particularly religious person at all but I liked the religious threads running throughout. They are appropriate for a tale of a monk and for a tale set in Medieval Europe.
There is a lot I want to say about this book but I don’t want to give away any major plot elements. It’s a wonderfully done book. There are some gruesome parts and there are some beautiful parts and at 900 some pages or 12000 locations, it’s a major read but it’s definitely worth the effort. ...more