The Carnelian Throne

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Carnelian Throne by Janet Morris.

Janet Morris The Carnelian Throne

The Carnelian Throne is the fourth and last of Janet Morris’s “Silistra” books, and while I enjoyed it well enough, it was something of a disappointing ending to the series. In general, it was not as engaging as the previous books. It was further detached from them by two mechanisms. First, the three central characters were removed to another continent about which they were largely ignorant, and where none of the elaborate dynamics of the daykeeper-ruled Silistran society had ever obtained. Second, a new pivotal character Deilcrit was introduced, with his parallel adventures described in the third person in chapters alternating with the first-person narrative of Estri that continued from the earlier volumes.

I didn’t much care for the “happily ever after with more adventure to come!” spirit in which this book concluded, which differed from the clouded and ironic endings of the other volumes. It almost seemed as if this book were an effort to create an episodic format that could further extend the series, rather than a truly intentional ending. Most significantly, this last segment failed to address some conspicuously ominous portents from the earlier books, where the narrating protagonist had looked back ruefully on her own decisions without detailing what was to come. All of these books were written over forty years ago, and there now seems little hope that the author would ever return to complete the story. [Spoiler! Hover over to see . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]

Still, the novel had some of the features that made the rest of the series interesting: strange forms of inter-psychic phenomena, sexual rivalries and peculiarities, and civilization-toppling fulfillment of personal destinies. [via]