This is the first book in the series that I admit to not liking as much as the others. Too much of it was spent recapping the first three books, and the plot was very haphazard. While there’s not an obvious prophecy, prophecies are involved, and that’s really getting old by now. Also, the whole “marks of secret” thing is sort of cheesy, just in the name. I don’t mind the other archaic-language uses, but this one’s pushing it a little too far. Plus, it all ends up being like a boogey man sort of thing.
On the good side, though, there was one part of this book that addressed the power of words and communication, which I really liked. Words can start a war, build a following, or bring peace to a situation. Learning how to speak each others’ languages and understand each other can help put an end to fighting and bring about friendships and alliances. That was good. Most of the book played on the same themes as the previous ones, so I don’t have much to add this time. In any case, I’m hoping the next one is better because this one faltered just a bit.
On a bizarre note – the copy my son has (a paperback) is really messed up. It’s like the copyeditor was drunk or something…there were words missing/misspelled, lines with all the letters shoved together with no spaces between them, and paragraphs that ended in the middle of a line and picked up after the next indent. It was really weird. There were errors every couple pages. I wonder if the hardback is like that too, or if this was just a cheap replication and that’s why it was so shoddy??