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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Meeting at Corvallis by S. M. Stirling

A Meeting at Corvallis by S. M. Stirling. New York: Roc, 2006. ISBN: 0-451-46111-8

Well! As we used to like to say back in high school days: I'm amazed! I'm abashed! I'm appalled! Well, not so much the latter of the three as the other two. Given my lackluster reaction to the first two books in this trilogy, Dies the Fire and the misnamed The Protector's War, I am not ashamed, but surprised to have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the finale, just published.

I must have been one of the first library customers to get a crack at it, since the title page verso lists its first printing as September, 2006. Apparently I put a hold on it in the library system well before it arrived. Luckily you can place holds on items for which the status is merely “on order,” and it had been so long since I placed the hold on this book that I had frankly forgotten about it (the hold, not the book), when I received my e-mail notice to come to the library and pick it up.

But then, to explain my reaction to the book, this is the volume where the author finally gets to indulge his fantasy of war, medieval style, played out in Oregon's Willamette Valley, in and around Salem, Corvallis, Mount Angel, the Silver Creek Falls area and their environs. With a little Portland and Forest Grove region thrown in for good measure. Here's a map of the locale.

Of course the good guys win, but not without losses. This time the witch queen's little prince DOES get captured, but eventually escapes unscathed. Not so, Lord Bear. The touching scenes surrounding that event almost brought me to tears. I must be waxing sentimental in my old age (I've suffered another birthday in the interval between my last posting and this one). The bad guys do inevitably get the worst of the deal, though, and eventually collapse more or less under their own weight.

Anyhow, this book definitely grabbed me and pulled me along willy-nilly, helter-skelter, almost without any volition on my part. I had a hard time putting it down. Definitely recommended, if you've managed to successfully slog your way through the first two volumes.

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