I have finished The Cerulean Queen by Sarah Kozloff, the fourth and final volume of her Nine Realms series.
After an era of war and injustice, corruption and fanaticism, peace has – like Queen Cerulia the Gryphling – returned to Ennea Mόn. A peace long-fought, well-earned and exquisitely detailed, the Nine Realms series that chronicles it is one of the most stately, dignified fantasies I have ever read. For while its plot, partial grittiness and modern themes steps a toe or two into the grimdark, Sarah Kozloff maintains the high-minded moral integrity I associate with Tolkien on a journey that for the characters spanned over a decade. Making this series more in the vein of Mercedes Lackey in that it shows the best and worst of humanity, as well as the sacrifices good people must make to see their people through to an earned dawn.
Spirits Blessings to you Queen Cerulia & Commander Thalen, Percia & Marcot, Tilim, Stalhia, Ciello, Chronicler Sewel, Norling, Peddler, Gunnit, Spinner Destra, Nana, Healer, Cerf, Tristo, Wareth and all the rest of the Raiders, all the Queen's Shield, Rector Meakey and the rest of the Scholairium, Lemle, and so many others. To those righteous who passed, may your Spirits guide your souls.
"When danger through the realm may reach,
The Nargis Nymph allots to each,
A Talent for the Times."