In The Great Convergence we start up directly where we left off in the first book, The Book of Deacon. We left Myranda following Lain out of the cave at Entwell hoping to convince him to stop the war because he had been shown to be one of the five Chosen. And the prophesy said that the five Chosen would end the war, but Lain wants nothing to do with it. Myranda has decided that it is her mission in life to get him to take on his responsibility even if it kills her. So she and Myn, her dragon, track him by means of one of his teeth that she knocked out in a fight. And now the the story starts really gets moving.
We have new important characters including the Northern Alliance Generals Bagu, and Epidime. We have the malthrope Ivy, the business partner Desmeres, the mystic Chosen Ether, and the continuing importance of the wizard Deacon. All these characters leap off the page in technicolor, fully realized, life. Not only that, but each character, not just the main one, goes through hard won personal development - growing and maturing into someone substantially different than the original character. Whether through hardship, love, loss, loneliness, or other factors, they all come out the other side changed by their ordeals, stronger people for the experience though some definitely have scars. This is characterization at its' finest.
The pace of the book is break-neck. It leaves little room for breath as you rip the pages by. You are completely engrossed in the story of Myranda, Lain, Ether and Ivy that there is no room for anything else. I read the book in a single afternoon. I didn't even stop for phone calls. The transitions are seamless as the story is fairly linear, hopping from our heroes to the Northern Alliance Generals and back with no confusion.
There is so much exciting in this story that comes about. There are dragoyles, magic battles, near men, poison breath, magic crystals, evil Generals, mutant beasts, mining scams, hide outs, much running and hiding, a lot of hunting, violin playing, mind raping, aerial battles, magical wound healing, magical swords, evil halbards, and possession. The ending comes at a time that is natural to break off the story, but it still surprised me, as I hadn't once looked up from the book since I started it. I was disappointed that it was over, but then I remembered that I already bought book three.
I would whole heatedly recommend this book to anyone who like epic fantasy, magic, historical warfare, or just a thumping good read. Also, all you students of human nature, this one's a gem. Don't miss this or the first one. I'm on to book three! Yahoo!
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)