The Sapphire Rose by David Eddings

Rating 8.0/10
This novel is not the best of ‘The Elenium’ but it still engages the reader.

'The Sapphire Rose' is the final book in 'The Elenium'. A trilogy of novels that has followed Sparhawk and friends on a quest to find a cure to save their Queen. Interestingly, this book does not have a recap of the previous novels, so it would be difficult to read it in isolation. Instead, David Eddings gives us a chapter about the relationship between Otha and Azash (the main evil god). This feels the reader with a feeling of foreboding, it is the first time those characters are described in detail.

Sparhawk continues his quest to keep his Queen safe, finding the cure to the poison is the easy part! He now has to go on another perilous quest to destroy the god, Azash. There is a bit of a road trip element to this novel, again his group of friends have to find clues and travel through unknown lands to achieve their goal. This is the fun bit, and the action is constantly building up to the finale.

'The Sapphire Rose' introduces the Queen Ehlana, who is an expert at politics and manipulating those in power. A lot of the humour comes from the reactions of those around her who constantly underestimate what she is capable of doing. Ehlana is a believable, and sometimes likeable character. She shows that strength does not come just from the power of the sword.

This novel is not the best of 'The Elenium' but it still engages the reader. David Eddings has the skill to make you really care about the characters, and that's what makes you want to read to the end. It is a more emotional read than previous novels, and the author must have had some criticism from his readers when this was first published for killing off well loved characters.

A reader expects a lot from the ending of a trilogy. The ending of 'The Sapphire Rose' can come across one of two ways, either it's so exciting that the story moves really quickly, or that the ending was very rushed and struggled to get everything in. It does have an ending though, no cliff hanger and no essential unanswered questions. If you like this book and want to read more about the character of Sparhawk, then there's good news as there's another trilogy that continues his story, 'The Tamuli'.

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