Title: The Weaver’s Lament
Author: Elizabeth Haydon
Series: The Symphony of Ages #9
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Overview: For a thousand years, the lands ruled by the Cymrian Alliance have been at peace. When the brutal death of a dear friend catapults the kingdom to the brink of civil war, Rhapsody finds herself in an impossible situation: forced to choose between her beloved husband, Ashe, and her two oldest friends, Grunthor and Achmed. Choosing her husband will mean the death of thousands of innocents. Siding against him will cost Rhapsody the other half of her soul, both in this life and the next. – Goodreads
“The Weaver’s Lament”, the ninth and final book in the “Symphony of Ages” series by Elizabeth Haydon, takes place over 1000 years after the conclusion of the previous book (“The Hollow Queen”). The first third of the book was an account of how the characters’ lives had progressed over the millennia. It read much like an extended epilogue, which I didn’t mind because I’m always clamoring for more “where are they now?” content at the end of a good series. Even though this catch-up-the-reader storytelling wasn’t particularly eventful, it was enjoyable.
Then Haydon used the remainder of the book to rip out my heart… and I’m still reeling.
I love this series first of all for the characters – it’s one of the few that boasts nonhumans as main POVs, a trait which demands much more creativity on the author’s part. The series also has dragons (which is always a win in my book), and they’re represented in a way I’ve never seen before, so major kudos to Haydon for originality. I also love it for its total immersion into this world’s rich culture and histories. The world is so well conceived it feels like a real place, and I will probably miss the overall “feel” of it more than anything else.
I admit I hadn’t enjoyed the last couple of books as much as I’d wanted to, even though they were good stories. I think the reason might be the multiple perspectives used to tell the tale. For me, the selling point of this series has always been about the Three – Rhapsody, Grunthor, and Achmed. While the other POVs were interesting, they just didn’t bring the same flare to the story. In “Weaver’s Lament”, Hayden recaptured the magic of the series by focusing solely on the Three and bringing their epic saga to an end.
Overall, “Weaver’s Lament” was one of the more satisfying series enders I’ve read in ages. The series as a whole is well worth your time if you like fantasy. Even so, I find it a little difficult to recommend with confidence. The first hundred pages or so of book one are hard to get through (not including the awesome prologue), mostly because it’s a bit confusing and drawn-out. The series also has a ton of story recap and discussion which, while integrated seamlessly, sometimes takes away from plot advancement. Between all of that, however, are moments of pure brilliance which make the whole series worthwhile. All the rehashing might make for a long-winded story, but after reading this series over the course of fifteen years, I can honestly say I remember almost everything about it quite vividly. My recommendation is, if you love fantasy and have a bit of patience, pick up The Symphony of Ages series – it won’t let you down.
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