The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

Miss Adventure got me reading the Protector of the Small series which takes place after the events in this series. I decided to make an effort to finish listening to this book (which I’ve had on my plate for months), the fourth book in the Immortals series.

Published: 1996

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 347 pages

Setting: mostly the Divine Realms and a bit of Tortall, soon after the events of Emperor Mage

Summary: Short version: A final confrontation between the powers of Chaos and Order

Long version: Tortall is under attack by a variety of Immortals. Much of the fighting is done under the encouragement of Ozorne, who is now a Stormwing. Daine and Numair get pulled into the Divine Realms by Sarra, Daine’s mother, to save them from an Immortal. While there, they learn about the Gods and Goddesses’ fight with Uusoae, the Queen of Chaos. To get back home, Daine and Numair go to ask the help of the dragons. On the way, Daine makes friends with several darkings. Ozorne made the darking as his spies, but now they are choosing not to do his bidding. Daine and Numair get back to Tortall in time for a final confrontation with Ozorne and his troops.

Final thoughts: A thoroughly satisfying end to the series. Pierce mixed it up a little by putting Daine and Numair in the Divine Realms for much of the book. While the battle is ratcheting up in Tortall, they take a little break. I think that break in the tension and fighting was crucial to my enjoyment of the book. I found it much more satisfying than Smoke and Iron, which was also at the crucial fight in the overall story. Here, Daine gets to see her mother again and learn who her father is. She also gets to make friends with new creature gods, like the duck-mole (who I’m assuming is a platypus). Instead of constant fighting, we get the story of their journey through the Divine Realms. There are plenty of bad things to trip them up on their way to the dragon lands. I am partial to a good journey story. I also delighted in Pierce’s newest creations – the darkings. They reminded me strongly of the sootballs in “Spirited Away.” Darkings are more flexible than sootballs, but it’s always what I pictured. Also, the voices for the darkings (since I listened to a full cast audio version of the book) were adorable.

Pierce often skirts the line between middle grade and young adult. I would definitely categorize this book as YA. There’s a fair amount of violence and graphic descriptions of fighting. The final confrontation between Daine and Ozorne isn’t gory, but Pierce doesn’t pull any punches. Also, we do get kissing between Daine and Numair. Numair finally confesses his feelings to Daine. Since she shares his feelings, there’s kissing. Nothing more, but it isn’t chaste kissing.

Title comes from: Much of the story is set in the Realms of the Gods (otherwise known as the Divine Realms)

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #30 for 2019

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