Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oh how do I write this review?

I'm not sure how to go about this review. I am honestly still in a bit of a state of denial. I read The Wayfarer Redemption (a.k.a. Battleaxe) in 2000. At that point, I was a little behind the publishing curve and was able to read through the entire series in one shot (my preferred method of reading, honestly. Though, I know that doesn't help authors out much statistically). I quickly finished the Battleaxe trilogy then the Wayfarer Redemption trilogy. 

After a hiatus of several years, I was in the library looking through the D's (yes, I randomly read through the shelves of a library like this) when I saw two standalone novels by Douglass. I checked out both and was impressed yet again, but not surprisingly. At this point, I went onto her website and found that she had written a new series. The Darkglass Mountain trilogy. While they were not all published yet, I decided to check out her Troy Game quadrology while I was waiting. 

Christmas 2011 dawned with a present from my in-laws of a compilation of works by Douglass I had never heard of previously. It was a posthumous publication of her life's short stories (and the review is earlier on this blog). I was sad. Christmas 2013 dawned with yet another surprise from my in-laws; they had found the final work of Sara Douglass for me. So now I proceed to write my last review for Sara Douglass with a heavy, hopeful heart.

The Devil's Diadem by Sara Douglass

Sara Douglass wrote this novel in the last stages of her fight against cancer. I honestly think this novel solidifies the closing of a great author in history. It is incredibly well written, excellently put together, and just down right honest about life. The truth written into the memoir of Maeb reflects the struggle of Douglass. The mythology may be fantasy, but the struggle and acceptance of passing along to another journey is very real. 

It is a lengthy volume at 400 pages. I found parts of the story to drag a little, but the entire story is divided into separate parts of Maeb's life making good breaking points. Each section is a clear "chapter" in Maeb's journey to understand the truth of life and love. Her honesty is built through an innocent naivete. Her preconceptions and lack of surety mire her in struggle and despair. It is incredibly heartbreaking and uplifting (how do you get those at the same time? A brilliant author.) to read the ending. 

This book is the perfect example of trust-and what it means to give trust to someone-and love. Maeb experiences three distinct types of love in her life. At the end, she clearly reflects back on these three. Take her hindsight lessons into your own life. Take the wisdom from a dying woman and build something better for yourself.

In Memoriam, Sara Douglass.

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