And so the saga ends in book six, The Sun Sword. Here is the final climactic battle of the war for the Dominion, and here is the course of history changed for, we hope, the better. Here is Kiriel’s parentage spoken of openly for the first time and here we begin to understand what role Auralis will play in future installments. As I keep mentioning, there are more Essalieyan books to come, but the Sun Sword series ends here.
After all, here is where the stories of Valedan kai di’Leonne and Diora en’Leonne find their climax. Valedan’s task of taking his land back from a usurper and wielding the Sun Sword in truth and Diora’s of conveying said Sword to him end here, and that is the main story of this series. There’s more going on, there couldn’t be anything else, but that is the primary tale. But there’s close to a thousand pages in this book and as you can guess, quite a few things happen. Some of them will be resolved, or at least partly so, in the second half of House War. Others will linger until Michelle Sagara West begins the series after that. And, again, who knows how many smaller series the Essalieyan universe will contain in the end? I could guess that West knows, but I’m not sure I believe that.
At the beginning of The Sun Sword is a long acknowledgement which mentions that this series was meant to be a duology like the Sacred Hunt. And yet it’s a full six books. I’ve also read on West’s website that House War was meant to be six books like Sun Sword. Yet it will be seven. In fact, the acknowledgement begins by stating that the Sun Sword series is some 7800 manuscript pages long. I cannot even begin to truly understand this although I have the clear evidence of how long it’s taken me to reread six books.
In some ways, I find the climax of The Sun Sword to not be the most rewarding part of the series. Not that it’s a letdown, but because there is so much foreshadowing, it’s hard to admit that this is the big conclusion. It’s still a great end to the series though, and there are some lovely moments in it. I particularly enjoy anything having to do with Falloran, Kiriel’s…dog. I’m glad I took the time to reread this books, but I am ready to get back to other things, and to less all-encompassing books and series.
In fact, the Pile no longer fits on a single shelf. These are smaller shelves, not the ones on the actual walls, but still, not tiny shelves. It’s the bookshelf I got for myself from the Container Store a few years back. I’d been steadily going crazy with all the books I had to stack horizontally in order to fit them all, and decided to buy myself the birthday gift of a new bookshelf. It’s a nice metal folding one too, which means it transports more easily than most six foot shelves. The shelves themselves are about two and a half feet wide, which is a good amount of space. More importantly, they’re each rated for at least 75lbs, which is why my graphic novels are there to this day. True, I could move those to one of the shelves lying on the floor, and I may do so one day, but for now this works just fine.