The Imperial Great Ship Chathrand, also known as the Wind-Palace, carrying more than 800 souls under the command of Captain Nilus Rose, has finally reached the end of its travels across the turbulent seas of Alifros. After four books, I found it incredible when I came across a comment by Felthrup, the woken rat, that only one astronomical year has passed since its departure from the Etherhorde docks. So much has happened, so many friends I have made aboard and beyond this great ship, that I am left with an overwhelming sadness there isn’t an island shore left to explore, some new magical creature to encounter, some previously hidden passage or door in the bowels of the ship to pass through.
Such a bittersweet reaction of saying goodbye to […] I can’t really name names, I don’t want to spoil the ending, but the price paid to save the world has been high. What has started as a fun adventure with teenage protagonists has become deadly serious as the voyage progressed and the sheer magnitude of the threat is revealed. I am usually turned off by these evil overlords bent on destroying whole civilizations, even entire planets to feed their insatiable ego, but I found it easy to make an exception for the Chathrand crew. In part because the resolution is anything but predictable and cliched, but mostly because I’ve become invested in the fate of the characters. These final chapters had about the same impact to me as saying goodbye to Fitzchivalry Farseer or to Frodo setting sail from the Grey Havens.