01/2012-Holds up well as a re-read. It's an interesting transition from the first trilogy, which deals primarily with how modern-day humans cope with the Change to the second set of books (currently at four volumes, heading toward six) which deals more with how the generation after the Change copes with the new reality of magic. 01/2011 Very satisfying seventh volume in the Emberverse saga. After seven books, though, it's difficult to find the proper objectivity for a review, I think, because I've grown to know and like the characters so well.There's a little less preachifying in this than some of the earlier ones, a bit less violent, gory death, and a lot of character development. Watching Rudi's transition from young tanist to High King has been interesting. I'm deeply sympathetic to his Wiccan upbringing, and for the duration of my reading, am able to suspend all my disbelief in Gods and Goddesses and be carried away by the narrative. The Sword is a thing of myth and legend and might, and although it sometimes acts like the magic plot smoothing device, one forgives this in the service of Story.