Dawn's Reviews > The Tears of the Sun

The Tears of the Sun by S.M. Stirling
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Sep 23, 2011

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bookshelves: ebook, fiction-fantasy
Read from September 23 to October 03, 2011

The last two novels of the Emberverse series seemed to not flow as naturally as the previous works, perhaps due to the increasing complexity as the scope of this world expands from the Northwestern US to include more and more of the world. However, in the last, we return to the Willamette Valley, and so in this newest episode we find ourselves anchored again among familiar characters and locations.

The transition from post-apocalyptic alternate-worlds fantasy into Arthurian legend rework has been a tad rocky, but this series has matured with the writer from a fairly simplistic "what-if" plotline to something rich and full. The old guard previously established fills out in time to begin exploring the issue inherent in such a massive generation gap, with the use of an "inbetween" character on the timeline neatly displaying the differences between them.

Stirling's managed something that I honestly haven't seen since Pern. A coherent spec-fic series that has successfully managed the generation shift in a gradual fashion (as opposed to the "Twenty years later, the son of our hero..." style often used in fantasy) without becoming jarring or confusing (IE: MZB's "where-are-we-in-Darkover's-timeline-again?" chaos).

All in all, I still definitely recommend the series, and find myself hoping that Stirling will decide to revisit the flip side of this group and bring the Nantucket series up to match Emberverse's timeline.
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