I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
And so the time of prophecy has come at last, the final days for those who dwell in Fionavar, first of all worlds. Even as the Unraveller's armies march to battle, even as his rain of death unleashes plague upon the lands, the ancient of powers to aid in their stuggle.
A fitting end to a great trilogy. We can often solve big problems by stepping out of the accepted patterns in our lives. Jennifer resists the Unraveller by bearing his child and by setting that child free to choose his own destiny. This resistance begins in the first volume and culminates in the third.
In my opinion, Fionavar is the Platonic ideal of our world—it contains all the ideas that are available for religion, myth, and literature. Paul on the Summer Tree “becomes” Odin; Kevin, when he sacrifices himself, mirrors the Adonis legend; Jennifer has a parallel existence as Guinevere. Dave, in battle, becomes a berserker and Kim is pressed into service as the mysterious Seer. What started as a chance association at a lecture becomes entirely meaningful as each of these people accepts their role in the grand design, The Tapestry that represents the integrity of the world of Fionavar and thereby all of it’s alternate worlds. And this book is the only one of the three that takes place completely in Fionavar, making it the strongest of the three, in my opinion. Everyone is fully committed to this particular plot.
Kay gives us tragedy (Diarmud and Sharra, anyone?) but he also gives us victory. Galadan, that demi-god who supported the Darkness is allowed a chance to return to the Tapestry. The eternal triangle of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot is maybe resolved as they move once again out of human history. Perhaps Arthur is no longer the King Who Will Return? I will admit to a few tears, as I finished this wonderful trilogy.
Book 201 of my science fiction and fantasy reading project.