The Seal of the Worm is book ten of the Shadows of the Apt series. I was eagerly awaiting it, and it more or less lived up to my expectations.
SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ BOOK NINE AND EARLIER
War Master’s Gate ended with the titular seal of the Worm broken, and the wasp Empire poised to crush the Lowlands. There was a lot of build-up to this book, a lot of subplots to be taken care of, and then the entire crisis of the Worms emergence to be handled and resolved. Given all this, the book seems a bit short. It’s not actually short – at almost 500 pages, but it does feel that way, because there is not a single dull page. The action takes a while to build up and grip you – like a lot the series’ books – but once it does it will not let you go. But the sheer complexity of the story means at times not enough words are given to some of the plot-lines and characters. Stenwold Maker in particular had almost a guest appearance.
The resolution of the main and side plots is mostly satisfying, though feeling a bit too serendipitous. Especially in case of the Worm. Also a bit unsatisfying for me was that we find out precious little new about the worm, which left me feeling a little cheated after such a long time of burning curiosity. And yet I’ve given the book five stars. Because it is not a stand-alone book, and viewed together with its parts, it is absolutely awesome. The series had its ups and downs for me, but if this was not a high point, neither was it a low one. And for the sheer freshness of it, for moving away from dragons and dwarves and all that, and creating a fantasy world that feels at once possible and yet utterly alien, I feel justified in my rating.
So I you have been following the series, you’ve got a good end to look forward to, and if you haven’t, then you should, because this series is a real gem.
My Rating : 4.5/5