At Book View Cafe, this very impressive volume

Check this out:

Nice cover!

This is the final book of the entire Sartorias-deles series. Honestly, that’s hard to wrap my mind around.

The last book in the long series that began with Inda, continued through the Rise of the Alliance, Crown Duel, and The Norsunder War, comes at last to a resonant, deeply satisfying conclusion in Antiphony.

Here’s the full set of novels in this long, long series of interconnected stories. My goodness, wow, looks like Sherwood wrote A Stranger to Command when she was a kid. It does not read like that at all. Nor does it read like MG or young YA. It reads like it’s right at the top of the age range for YA or like an adult novel — that’s the slow pace and lack of adventure. It’s one of my favorite books of hers. It might be right at the top.

“Lily and Crown”
The Fox
King’s Shield
Treason’s Shore

Time of Daughters (two volumes)

Banner of the Damned


CHILDREN’S STORIES, (written when Sherwood Smith was a kid) which introduce many of the characters central to later arcs.

CJ Notebooks
Spy Princess

Fleeing Peace
A Stranger to Command

ROMANTIC STORIES, which mostly stand alone:

Crown Duel
The Trouble with Kings
Sasharia En Garde


A Sword Named Truth
The Blood Mage Texts
The Hunters and the Hunted
Nightside of the Sun

The Wicked Skill


Ship Without Sails
Marend of Marloven Hess
Seek to Hold the Wind
All Things Betray
A Chain of Braided Silver

The POST-WAR books and stories:

Let the Torrent Dance Thee Down

“Beauty” [published in Remalna Stores
“Court Ship” [published in Remalna Stores
“The Art of Masks” [Published]

A lot of these, I haven’t read, especially the others listed under “children’s books.” That means when I started beta reading this series, I didn’t know who most of the characters were. I rapidly developed my favorites (mostly Detlev’s boys, and Detlev) and later got more invested in the overall story.

Earlier this year, I beta-read Antiphony. Here’s my essential take on this long last book:

Everything is over. The good guys won. Now they’re all putting their lives in order and getting set to live happily ever after. The end.

I absolutely loved this book, which is basically a very long epilogue. I just love stories in which characters I already know and like sort out their lives. That’s what this story does. That’s what it’s for. I might eventually go back and read the early stories, particularly since I’ve never read the final versions and I’d be interested to do that. Knowing this volume is coming would lend a deep satisfaction to the other books for me, since I would already be confident in the various happy endings.

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2 thoughts on “At Book View Cafe, this very impressive volume”

  1. When Sword Named Truth came out, I was very excited to finally get the Norsunder Wars story. But I ended up DNFing it: I got bogged down in all these characters that I didn’t know and didn’t particularly care about, and the fact that they are all children was a bit strange and made it harder to suspend disbelief. I tried CJ’s Notebooks, thinking that if I got to know the characters better I would get more invested in the story, but I couldn’t get past the juvenile writing (and yet Stranger to Command was very well-written and is still one of my favourites).

    I am reassured that you like the newer novels. I wonder if I could start with Ship Without Sails, or do you think I need to know the events leading up to it? I am still very curious about Norsunder!

  2. Kim, I’m trying to remember where I came in. It sure wasn’t at the beginning. It might have been Nightside of the Sun — smack in the middle. Obviously I didn’t know any of the characters at all. I was beta reading, not picking it up to read for fun, so this wasn’t all that relevant; it just meant I had to assume that readers following the series would have a better grasp of the characters than I did.

    Clair was important in Nightside. I didn’t care about her; I didn’t find her interesting at all. There were quite a few characters I wasn’t particularly interested in. But Detlev’s boys were important right away as well, and I found several of them far more interesting than any of the girls. For me, the boys stayed much more interesting than the girls for a long time and some of them remained my favorite characters right to the end. Detlev himself was a favorite of mine; I like enigmatic characters who are clearly working behind the scenes to achieve great things. I thought it was very obvious that Detlev had pitted himself against Norsunder in a very long war.

    I don’t know if Ship Without Sails makes a decent entry, but I do think if you pick up the series and persist, you’ll probably get into it. It’s hard for me to imagine caring all that much about all the characters, and some books focus more on characters I prefer, but Antiphony was particularly successful in making me get interested in and care about an important character I hadn’t been particularly fond of previously.

    So it’s hard to say! I think eventually I will go back to A Sword Named Truth, start there, read forward, and let myself skim the parts that I find less compelling. I would like to see my favorite characters get into position for the later books, and as the series progresses, there are beautiful scenes I would love to revisit. There’s a stunning scene with David and Detlev and a couple others that was just fabulous. It’s late in the series. Even knowing nothing at all except that it involves those characters and I loved it, I bet you would instantly recognize the scene I have in mind.

    Also, I wrote REALLY VEHEMENT COMMENTS at least twice, and I would be very interested to see if Sherwood did anything to resolve the issues I had.

    Yes, it’s off-putting to have them all be children, but I just went with it — and they all let themselves grow up at the end.

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