Crystal Starr Light's Reviews > The Realms of the Gods

The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
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's review
Oct 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, fantasy, audiobook
Read from October 05 to 11, 2011

Showdown between Mortals and the Immortals

Daine and Numair have been doing their best, fighting against the forces of the now Immortal, Ozorne. In a battle at the cusp of death, they are spirited away to the Realms of the Gods by Daine's mother, Sarra, and her father, both of whom are gods. But Daine can think of only one thing: fighting in the battle in Tortall and saving her friends. Numair and Daine must then journey to the Land of the Dragons to return to Tortall and hopefully save their people.

The journey is complete! I must admit, I do find myself a little sad at the conclusion to this series. It has been a fun ride, even with the hiccups I've seen.

In the last entry of The Immortals Quartet, we have a lot of changes and a lot of developments. One of the biggest is the relationship between Daine and Numair. Even from the beginning, Wild Magic, we could sorta tell there was a spark between these two. Now, this spark officially becomes love. The weird thing is, I thought it was squicky. I really hate to say that--I've adored many romance between two people of wildly different ages (the Erlking/Dana from Glimmerglass and Jane Eyre/Mr. Rochester as two examples). *EMBARRASSING ADMISSION TIME* Frak, I've even written some fanfic about teacher/student romantic pairings!*END* But for whatever reason, maybe because Daine is SO young (13) when she first meets Numair, maybe because Numair has been Daine's teacher for so long, maybe because Daine is only 16 in this book while Numair is in his early 30's, I just was totally squicked out when they revealed their love for each other.

However, that said, the romance WAS done well (I know, sounds hypocritical--I know I don't make sense!). Numair and Daine NEVER fell insta-love. Their affections grew over the years, over KNOWING and caring for the other person. Also, Daine NEVER ONCE backed down from doing something dangerous because of her love for Numair. She continued to battle, even knowing that either she or Numair could die. And the romance NEVER halts the story and completely careens it off into "Googly Eyes" territory. With all the hokey romantic stories in young adult novels today, this was VERY refreshing.

Another big development is we get to see the Realms of the Gods and find out more about Daine's mother. It was nice to see how the gods lived, what happened to Daine's mom, and to have a mini-journey before the final battle (though, I was wondering for a moment there if Pierce would be able to pull it off--she almost didn't leave herself enough time for a good Final Battle!). I also really liked the Showdown between Daine and Ozorne. It was intense and kept me listening to the very end. I also thought it was well-thought out and, for the most part (considering I listened to this on audiobook), I could see how the scene happened.

As with all these books, I found some stuff that I didn't like (besides, of course, the relationship). I thought an awful lot of time was spent with Daine and Numair returning to Tortall. I missed a lot of the characters in earlier books--Onua, who barely gets a line in, Alanna, the King and Queen, and more. Daine is straddling the Mary Sue line; she has become almost omnipotent at this point (thank goddess she doesn't end up getting BOTH options the gods give her at the very end), not to mention with her bias towards Stormwings gone, she virtually has no flaws or weaknesses. However, I will also say, she is one of the most tolerable Mary Sue's I've ever read. Through this series, I've also discovered I am NOT a big animal person, thus a lot of the book was rather blah for me (to those that do like animals, this is your book!). I can only take so much talking, cute animals.

But there was also a lot of stuff I did like. We get new creatures, the Darkings, which I imagined to be SO CUTE and ADORABLE and AW SO SPESHUL! (Sounds like I contradicted myself again!) Daine doesn't jump headlong into marrying a guy at 16 and decides to wait it out--and he respects her decision and never forces her to be someone she is not. We get a journey AND a final battle. And our villain, Ozorne, maintains his evil scariness withOUT resorting to being a cliche.

This has been a really enjoyable series to read. Tamora Pierce has written some really enjoyable fantasy that has managed to avoid most of the pratfalls I've seen a lot of other young adult novels fall prey to--Mary Sues (depending on your view, Daine could be one or could not), insta-love, romance dominating the story, a lack of background research, no clear idea of surroundings. A good series for adults, but I definitely think that teenaged girls should check this out, as they will probably enjoy way more.
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Reading Progress

5.0% "Daine is now 16. I really like how each book is one year later."
10.0% "If I were Daine, I'd be tempted to slap my mother--you hid my dad from me all my life and you wonder why we just don't run into each others' arms and group hug?!"
14.0% "Trying to get home to fight the undefeatable..."
24.0% "A part of me is suspicious of the Darking...and another is charmed :P"
33.0% "And they are off!"
38.0% "A journey story--one of my favorite types of stories. Accompanied by cute Darkings :)"
43.0% "Aw, the Darkings have names!"
48.0% "So...are we there yet?"
57.0% "Sexy time! (And even though I am not sure about the Numair/Daine shipping, I actually think it's pretty hot for a kid's book!)"
62.0% "It's weird - I usually love May-December romances, but this one, for some reason, creeps me out. Huh."
67.0% "Finally in the dragon there enough time to wrap this up nicely?"
71.0% "Dragon smack down! Still not sure how this is going to wrap up..."
76.0% "Gearing up for the final battle..."
81.0% "Okay, now THIS is a good final battle!"
86.0% "Final showdown: Daine vs Ozorne!!"
90.0% "OMG, if Daine takes this option as a goddess (or worse, find a way to be BOTH a goddess AND be with her friends), she will have catapulted head first into Mary Sue territory."
95.0% "Good grief, we KNOW he isn't dead! Just have him reappear already!"
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