Okay, look. This is the fourth book in a series, and I have been raving about this series from book one. If you don't like to start series in case they aren't finished, or in case they go swiftly downhill, you no longer have that reason here: if anything, I found the ending stronger than the beginning. And while it's entirely possible that Daniel Abraham will write more books in this world, if he does it will be in a different story. This story has been told, start to finish. Go. Get the first one and start. What are you waiting for?
For those of you who have read the rest of the series--I was so pleased with how this fourth book started. After the ending of the third one, I was excited but also apprehensive to see where he was going with this: many people would have considered the ending of the third book to be series-ending enough, but it was clear that Abraham had conceived this as a four-book series all along. And the phrase, "well, that didn't work out quite as I'd planned," seems to sum up the results of so many character actions in this book.
Oh, consequences, consequences, more consequences, most of them unintended or not fully thought-out. Such lovely consequences. This is the problem with a review of a book late in a series: it's so hard to talk about things without all the things that caused them. Anyway, what Daniel Abraham writes next, I will read. Even if the premise makes me go, "Ick, really?" I will read it anyway. Because he's earned that from me with these books.
Over on Tor.com, papersky said of this series, "One of the ways in which fantasy generally tends to follow Tolkien is in the belief that magic is inherently superior to a cotton gin. It's refreshing to read something arguing the other position." Yes. That.