With The Third God, Ricardo Pinto concludes what must be one of the more original fantasy trilogies of recent years, The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon. While it’s rare to not only find a fantasy universe so fleshed out in so many ways, it’s also a joy to see that it’s not just a clone of Tolkien tropes, something that has hobbled the genre for many years, and continues to do so to this day.
In the third novel (which, needless to say, will be incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the series), Carnelian has to choose a side in the approaching war, one that unfortunately pits him against the Masters, alongside Osidian. However, Carnelian has his own destiny, which isn’t what anyone expected.
Pinto has proven himself an accomplished author throughout this series, and his prose hasn’t slipped at all. His attention to detail is one of the stronger points here, with his imagined world practically bursting with creativity and life. Paradoxically, it’s also one of the great drawbacks to the book, and one that will inevitably alienate new readers. While those of us who know the universe will be excited by these details, it does tend to reduce the pacing of the book to a crawl at points, with unnecessary inner monologues taking up far more space than they need to, and needless exposition becoming a constant.
That’s not to say that there isn’t action, tension and intrigue. On the contrary, there is a great deal. It’s just that Pinto, like most decent novelists, can be an acquired taste at times. Shannara this is not, and it will require both dedication and patience to get through, but the end results are ultimately rewarding. It’s a fine conclusion to the trilogy that’s not without its (at times serious) flaws, but impressive nonetheless.
[isbn name=”The Third God”]978-0553815054[/isbn]