Although I enjoyed this fifth book in the Belisarius series, I found it to be a little slower than the previous four. It’s difficult for me to pinpoint why, but I can think of three factors that probably contributed to it:
1. I’m not sure if this is quantitatively true, but it seemed like there were fewer Belisarius chapters in this book, especially in the middle 50%. I usually enjoy the Belisarius sections the most, so I wanted to see more of him.
2. The main characters were spread out more into different areas, so there was less interaction between the different characters. That interaction is a large source of the humor that I’ve enjoyed so much about the series.
3. The previous (fourth) book had been my favorite out of the series and I found it to be the most fast-paced book I had read so far in the series. That might have made this book seem slower by contrast.
Despite these things, this was still a good book. There were some sad parts that added realism to the story. There was also still humor, even if I thought there was less of it than normal. The story was still interesting, for the most part. But, unlike with the previous books, there were times when it didn’t hold my interest.
One thing I’ve enjoyed in all the books so far, that I haven’t really talked about in any of my past reviews, are the epilogues. They consist of multiple short sections that make the rounds of all the main characters and show us what everybody is up to after the main action has been wrapped up. I wish every author did this, because I often find myself unsatisfied with book endings even when I otherwise enjoyed the book. I’ve been pretty satisfied with the endings in each of the Belisarius books, which is especially impressive given that this is a series and the over-all story isn’t complete yet.