Amber And Blood
Book Three of The Dark Disciple
by Margaret Weis, fantasy (2008)
Wizards Of The Coast, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-7869-5066-9

Amber And Blood is the conclusion of the trilogy called The Dark Disciple and needless to say, you shouldn't be reading this review (or the book) if you haven't read the previous two books in the trilogy. Still, I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum here, although I doubt I can completely avoid giving spoilers here. Folks, you have been warned.

Anyway, if you have read the previous book, you know what Mina's true identity is. But the story is not done yet as Mina can't just waltz back home and give everyone the finger. Therefore, in this story, poor Rhys Mason, his dog Atta, and the adorable kender Nightshade have to go on one last quest. You see, Mina is now a small brat (don't ask, not unless you want to be spoiled completely) and even better, she is pretty much an amnesiac now. If you think Mina is annoying enough in the previous stories with her "Ooh, I don't mean to be bad or slutty, don't hate me... OH EMO!" personality, wait until you see her in action as a spoiled, unthinking, and utterly annoying brat who keeps complaining, stomping her foot, and putting the lives of poor Rhys and Nightshade in danger. And for what? At the end, Mina is established as a psychotic schizophrenic crybaby bitch whose only excuse for her antics is that she is created that way. Poor Nightshade, at least he's happy. I don't think I can forgive Mina for what she did to Nightshade here.

The conclusion to this trilogy is an utter disappointment to me, if you can't tell by now. I'm used to being disappointed by conclusions to series written by Ms Weis either on her own or with her collaborators (I still despair over the conclusions of The Death Gate Cycle and The Blood Sword Chronicles), but this one really takes the cake as it shows me that Rhys and Nightshade have given and lost so much just to appease a bunch of spoiled gods. At least Zeboim is adorable in her diva antics. Mina has no such excuse, that humorless crybaby psychotic creature.

Still, the narrative is top-notch and there are plenty of unexpected moments of comedy here, if one can overlook the large number of spelling mistakes, missing words, and such. That does not mean I am happy with this story, though. All that build-up about Chemosh, Zeboim, and what not in the previous two books end up being pushed aside in this one for a tale of our hapless Rhys and Nightshade having to babysit the brat from hell. This trilogy is about Mina's internal turmoils and her trying to find her place in this world, but her portrayal is so inconsistent that she comes off like needing mood stabilizers instead. The story feels rushed and the characters have become one-dimensional parodies of themselves in previous books. Was Rhys ever this sanctimonious and preachy in the previous two books?

Amber And Blood may be a pleasant read but it is also a forgettable waste of time and an utterly disappointing conclusion to the trilogy.

Rating: 70

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