December 10, 2018

Review: Prince of Storms by Kay Kenyon.

A series finale is always exhilarating, yet sad experience. Characters and plots may come to fruition, but it’s always sad to see them go. Such is the case with Prince of Storms by Kay Kenyon, out this month courtesy of Pyr Books. Devoted followers of the saga covering the broad and rich universe of the Rose and the Entire won’t be disappointed as the battle comes to a climax in an unforgettable cross-dimensional clash that winds up the questions left by the third book, City without End. The rich universe of the Rose and the Entire created by Mrs. Kenyon knows few equals, and approaches The Lord of the Rings or Frank Herbert’sDune in scope. We only regret that we came into this saga half-way; some of the background provided online has been illuminating!

 

This final saga brings Titus Quinn to rule among turbulent times. But forces are afoot that wish to not only overthrow Quinn, but destroy the Rose for the sake of the Entire. (In this context, the Rose represents our universe). In this semi-near future, select humans such as Quinn and his family are transplants into the Entire, strangers in a strange and alien dimension that bizarrely mirrors our own.

But Quinn finds that his hold on power may be tenuous and not without those vying for position, the least of which are the overthrown Tarig lords, Jinda ceb Horat fresh back from the Long War, and even his own daughter Sen Ni now in league with the Navitars. The Navitars are cerebral pilots of the Nigh, a space-river that cuts through the Entire. The Navitars are reminiscent of the Guild Navigators of Dune fame.

The confrontation that comes to a climax in book four is both surprising and yet inevitable. As the Tarig lords and the Navitars both peck away at the frontiers of Titus Quinn’s empire, he realizes that the alliances forged have put them on an inevitable collision, one that not only engulfs the cosmological scheme of the Rose and the Entire, but may surpass it.

Word of warning; I would definitely start this series from the beginning; it’s a tough jump in from any of the later books. Also, as mentioned, the companion site by Mrs. Kenyon entitled The Universe Extras: Geo-Cosmic Features is an invaluable companion as you wade into the universe of the Rose and the Entire. Few can pull off a complete universe as seamlessly and effectively as Mrs. Kenyon does in this series. One second caveat to regular readers of this site; the science side of the fiction is a bit light; better to view this as a fine Tolkien novel and not worry too much about the technical underpinnings.

The series conclusion brings those classic questions into focus; is power always worth it? Can the change that it incurs in people be stopped? And while power and control might be a necessary evil, is it an indispensible one? The questions raised by Titus Quinn are those of the classic heroes’ journey, defined in modern times by Joseph Campbell but are an archetype as old as Man himself.

Prince of Storms wraps up a very engaging tale in an extremely unique and well thought out universe. While we’re sad to see it go, there’s always room perhaps for more adventures in a universe as grand as the Rose and the Entire, as well as hope of it reaching the big screen… we may see the bright of the sky yet!

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