The Hidden City by David Eddings - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
THE ULTIMATE BATTLE
Sparhawk, the Greatest of Pandion Knights, has offered freedom to the Troll-Gods trapped in the Blue Rose in exchange for their aid in fighting Cyrgon, the sinister god of the Cyrgai. But Cyrgon has turned to the unspeakable arts of Zemoch magic in his war against the Tamul Empire. He has brought back to the world the very essence of evil which was cast out at the beginning of time by Azash and the other Elder Gods. Klæl! As ancient as the Blue Rose, and as powerful.
The ultimate battle between Blue Rose and Klæl must be fought - though Ehlana is helf prisoner by the enemy in the Hidden City, defended by Klæl. The time for strategy and hope is past. From the blurb.
The final book in The Tamuli! And what a book!
After Sparhawk released the Troll-Gods up in Atan, they took back control of the Trolls and turned them against Cyrgon and his Cyrgai. Being butchered and eaten by the Trolls, the ranks of the Cyrgai fall, causing Cyrgon to do the unthinkable - release Klæl. The brother and opposite of Bhelliom, Klæl is a monster beyond all imagining, and Cyrgon is a fool to think he can control it.
Unbeknownst to Sparhawk, while up in Atan releasing the Troll-Gods, his wife was abducted by Scarpa, son of the traitorous Styric, Zalasta. If Sparhawk is ever to see Ehlana alive again, he must follow the strict instructions given to him in messages which will lead to an exchange - Ehlana for the Bhelliom. But without the Bhelliom, there's no way to defeat Klæl.
This is more like the Eddings I know! I mentioned in my review of The Sapphire Rose that I was a little disappointed that there was more politics than action, but that's not the case in The Hidden City. There is a still a lot of political intrigue going on, but Sparhawk and his companions take massive steps to fight Cyrgon and Klæl. He and his companions devise ways to combat the various forces across the Empire, and split up to do so. Skirmishes here, infiltration there, disguises and disception pretty much everywhere. It's awesome!
There's a lot that happens in this book, and a lot to discover, so I don't want to go into it in too much detail. But I pretty much flew through this book, and I loved every second. Something I found interesting was the things I remembered about the trilogy. There are scenes or moments from the story, images that stood out vividly in my mind before I re-read them. Although I had forgotten the general plot of the story, I remembered these images because they really impressed on me at the time I first read them. It was amazing to see this time round that the images or moments that I remembered so clearly could be just a paragraph or two long. There were several of them in this book, and I was amazed to see how short they were. It's amazing what the brain holds on to, isn't it?
I finished this book with a heavy heart. There are only two trilogies featuring these sets of characters, and although this was a re-read and I knew it would end, it still left me feeling really sad to say goodbye to such well loved characters. Although my memories of the stories wasn't quite right, and I was disappointed with some aspects, the characters themselves are awesome, and I fell in love with them all over again. The monachs, the knights, the criminals, the government officials, the gods - or rather, the goddess; Aphrael will steal anyone's heart. I'm really sad to have come to the end. Has me itching to re-read some of Eddings other novels, but I think I might wait for a short while.
A fantastic to end to another great trilogy full of wonderful characters you can't help but adore.
David Eddings' Website
My other reviews from the series:
Domes of Fire (The Tamuli Book 1)
The Shining Ones (The Tamuli Book 2)