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Title: The Sapphire Rose
Series: The Elenium #3
Author: David Eddings
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
From Wikipedia & Me
Sparhawk now has possession of the Bhelliom, so he returns to Cimmura and uses it to cure Queen Ehlana. Unfortunately, when returning the symbolic ring of the monarchy to her, she, perhaps deliberately, mistakes his action for a marriage proposal. The engagement has been publicly announced before he has had time to clarify this – although it seems unlikely that Ehlana would have been willing to break the engagement anyway. After curing the Queen of her illness, the knights ride for Chyrellos to prevent the Primate of Cimmura from ascending the throne of Archprelate. An enormous army lays siege to the Holy City.
Meanwhile, the evil God Azash and his servant, Otha, have been massing their forces along the eastern border of Eosia in preparation for an invasion of the west. Sparhawk decides, after consultation with his superiors in the Church, to take Bhelliom and travel to Zemoch with several others, with the intention of destroying Azash.
They reach the city of Zemoch, and find the temple which contains the mud idol to which Azash is confined. By a slightly odd mixture of subtlety and brute force, they gain access to the inner room – but not without the loss of Kurik, Sparhawk’s squire and friend. Sparhawk duels with Martel, another of Azash’s accomplices, and kills him; he then goes on to destroy Azash himself, who takes Otha and Annias with him.
The end of the series comes to a close with the birth of Sparhawk’s daughter Danae, who reveals herself to be Aphrael. Aphrael reveals that Sparhawk is the Man without a Fate and helps him lose Bhelliom so it won’t fall into the wrong hands.
This was a good ending to the trilogy. I had forgotten that so much happens. It was like Eddings realized he had dragged things out too long in the previous books and so had to cram everything in here. This was also quite a bit longer in terms of pages too.
In the previous book it felt like Eddings did everything he could to slow down our protagonists whereas in this book it was full steam ahead, damn the torpedoes and the jolly roger on the high seas. Sparhawk heals Ehlana, marries her, races across a continent to face down a god, defeats him, deliberately loses Bhelliom, has a kid who is actually a goddess and then helps heal the world. It was just a bit much.
Oh, the biggest reason for keeping it below a 4star was that Ehlana wasn’t supposed to be able to get pregnant after being poisoned and it’s a whole plot point between Danae/Aphrael and Sparhawk. The thing is, Bhelliom healed Ehlana from the poison, so why didn’t it heal her from that particular side affect? It just made no sense.
Overall, I was happy to re-read this trilogy but I think this is it. Eddings has a big place in my history of reading but not a future.