Book Review: THE HIDDEN CITY by David Eddings

Title in black on pale green crystals on darker green
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - final book of trilogy

SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for DOMES OF FIRE and THE SHINING ONES*

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE HIDDEN CITY: title in black on white hill with crystals on

Queen Ehlana has been taken prisoner and held in the Hidden City as the time for battle approaches.

The face of the enemy has been unmasked as Cyrgon, the sinister god of the Cyrgai. Corrupted further by unspeakable magic, he threatens to destroy the world in his lust for power.

In exchange for their help in defeating Cyrgon and saving his beloved Ehlana, Sparhawk has offered freedom to the Troll-Gods trapped in their sacred jewel, the Blue Rose. However, this carries its own cost. But what price is too high when the fate of the world and everything you hold dear are threatened?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

This book is a finale on about the most epic scale possible. So many armies, multiple gods involved, and lots of deception as faces get switched up. We ping around the entire continent with a vast cast, as various monsters and armies face off.

The wider scope of this trilogy (compared to the first) really does pay off here. It’s not a series of simple goals, but one main goal (find Ehlana) that’s really hard to achieve, requiring multiple different attempts to solve. We do end up with a one-on-one fight between Sparhawk and Cyrgon, but there are many more large-scale confrontations between others across the entire book.

The increasing POV trend of this series continues. Sparhawk’s POV is less than half the chapters, as the cast splits up. There are at least nine main groups (I think), plus multiple one or two scenes from villains to show what’s happening there.) It helps make the book feel less typical of a quest. While there is a god to defeat, there are multiple armies moving around on both sides, a hunt for Ehlana, and scheming in the palace.

I loved the chapters with Ulath and Tynian, because they were with the trolls. The conversations were a lot of fun, as they were trying to get around differences in culture on a very profound level. It made for some really amusing conversations, particularly as their language was so different with the concepts used. “Not-simple”, “mind-bellies” – and trying to wrangle with that while also struggling to get around the conceptual differences in their cultures. Blowck (the main troll) made me laugh a lot.

Right, as I’ve finished both of the trilogies centred around Sparhawk, it’s onto The Belgariad, the author’s debut series and the first series of his I read (new world and cast.) I’ve never listened to this before, and I’m hoping I love it as much in audio (I basically had one of the series or its sequel in my pocket for all of secondary school.)


Read my reviews of other books by David Eddings:

The Elenium (chronologically before this series):

The Tamuli (this series):

The Belgariad:

The Malloreon (chronologically after the Belgariad):

Companions to the Belgariad and the Malloreon:

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