After almost a year of waiting, the sixth and final book in R. K. Lander’s The Silvan series is out. Quite a thick tome that wraps up the story while still leaving some questions unanswered. Is that good or bad? Well, that’s quite the question.Read more: Book review: Destiny of a Prince
The first four books were dealing with two major plots – a political plot caused by racial divide and the attacks of enemies from outside – the Sand Lords and Deviants, eventually revealed to be led by super-powerful half-elves, the Nim’uán. After the fourth book, the main part of the political plot was finished, but there are still lingering after-effects (partially dealt with in book five), including several captives in the dungeons of the capital city.
The second half of the fifth book has seen the elven army, led by Fel’annár, fight an invasion from the desert. Facing overwhelming odds, the tired and dwindling army is to return to the capital – which faces invasion from another side, led by the last and most-powerful Nim’uán, Gradón.
With the capital down to a skeleton crew of defenders, returning army just out of reach to arrive in time, and reinforcements from allies even further behind, the capital prepares for a siege. Just the same, a lot of space is given to the other side of the conflict, allowing us to see Gradón’s part of the story – his devastating landing and his plans for attacking the capital. The fact that a lot of space is given to both sides of the conflict is what stretches the book to quite an insane length – over 900 pages.
Just the same, there’s a lot of space given to the royal family – those who remain in the capital. The budding alliances and friendships (or more) started by some characters amidst of danger and how the individual members put their talents to use when preparing for the inevitable. In these times, the scheming of Draugolé (the most-dangerous captive) seems quite an orphaned plot line, though the remaining traitors do have a couple of scenes. These final loose ends in the form of three characters will be finished, though their end is a bit different than I expected (I won’t spoil this).
With some luck, part of Fel’annár’s army manages to reach the capital just before the attack – by which point, the book is still around 50% in. The idea of one battle taking around 450 pages did seem overwhelming, but it’s well executed – each stage has its place and purpose, and forces both sides to adjust. Small details and how some characters react to them are what made this feel like a truly living world.
The final sequence provides no shortage of emotional scenes – striving for redemption, desire to prove yourself, and heroic sacrifices. The final sequence after the battle ends, however, gives a hint that the author wants to go further into her world-building in the future, hinting that the elven reincarnation cycle and the domains of individual gods may be something to explore. That said, this book closes the series quite well, though the very last sequence did spark some further questions rather than provide answers.
In the end, this whole series was quite a ride – 6 books of some 5000 pages total. As with the first five, the main issue is with the not-so-strict PoV in this series which goes against the prevalent writing style I’ve encountered and which makes things a bit unclear at times. Despite that, it’s a story that I’ve enjoyed reading quite a lot and will have many fond memories of.