Christine's Reviews > The Daemon Prism

The Daemon Prism by Carol Berg
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Mar 07, 12

Read from March 01 to 07, 2012

I was so profoundly disappointed in this conclusion to a series I have loved! After spending two books developing a rich political environment, the heroes are drawn - in the slowest, most agonizing, roundabout, boring way possible - to a neighboring land in the middle of nowhere. The uninteresting antagonists dominate the plot while the main narrator, Dante, bides his time... and bides his time... and bides his time.

For about three-quarters of the book, I was bored, slogging through the antagonists essentially laughing evilly at one another and doing terrible things while Dante did the same thing he has done in previous books: Gritted his teeth and pretended to be evil. He's an interesting character, but it would have been nice to see him without his masks for the book that was supposed to be centered about him. To top things off, the shifting narrative -- which did not occur in the other books -- seemed off-balance, disorienting and confusing rather than offering multiple facets (perhaps a meta-reference to the prisms around which the story centers?) to the story.

When I wasn't bored, I dreaded the conclusion, because the heroes never really get the upper hand and it looks as though something terrible is going to happen. I did not develop a love for Dante as I did for Portier, Illario, and Anne in the first three books. I worried for them. But Berg has always put her characters in really hot water and pulled off a delightful save. Right up until the last few pages, I was expecting that save - and instead, the conclusion felt, to me, like the most unnecessarily heartbreaking ending imaginable. Instead of feeling satisfied, the conclusion of the series left me sad, angry, and unfulfilled. (view spoiler) Other reviewers have criticized Portier's role as 'damsel in distress' for the entirety of the third book, and I too disliked seeing the focal character of the first book and the brilliant manipulator of the second, demoted to humiliated impotence (view spoiler).

This is a horrible review, and I realize the author may read it, and I do not mean to be hurtful or disrespectful to Ms. Berg. I feel like I have to write this because I am so anguished and heartbroken that I have no other outlet. Indeed, if I did not respect Ms. Berg so much I would not have had such high expectations for her conclusion. As it is, I feel as though I've been betrayed by the author.
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Wendy Darling I agree with your review 100%. This book is a mess. See my own review.


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