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Children's LiteratureBook IV, the conclusion of Tamora Pierce's reissued "The Immortals" quartet, finds the young heroine Daine once more at war. It seems the defeated Emperor Ozorne of Carthak-now in the form of a vile Stormwing-has opened the barriers between the Divine Realms and the mortal world. And most of the gods have a nasty streak. In an effort to keep Chaos at bay, the now-knockout, sixteen-year-old Daine and her teacher/mage/admirer Numair are abducted to the gods' realm. Here the story lingers overlong between parental reunions, new additions to Daine's menagerie of sidekicks (this time it's little blob-like "darkings"), a visit to the Dragonlands, and the growing love interest between mage and mageling. Returned to the real world at last, the final battle-probably meant to be epically Tolkien-falls a little flat. Alas, the wonder of Book I's discoveries is gone. When nearly everything can suddenly be accomplished by magic, the result becomes humdrum. There are stylistic problems, too. The book is put together choppily, without fleshing out transitions and many scenes. Pierce has good fantasy ideas, but tosses them around willy-nilly, losing narrative strength in the process. She might take a few lessons from Diana Wynne Jones. On the bright side, the reinforced binding sports impressive cover art by Marilee Heyer. 2003 (orig. 1996), Atheneum, Ages 12 up.
— Kathleen Karr