on Dec. 19, 2014 :
So you think you can't empathize with a giant termite? We've had many insectoid and arachnid heroes in literature. Consider "Charlotte's Web." If you didn't get teary-eyed when Charlotte died, then you must have a heart of stone. Other stories empathetic toward multi-legged creatures: Ant Bully, It's a Bug's Life, Bee Story. I'm sure there are others. I don't usually seek out books about bugs, but I could come up with these examples in a few seconds.
So, what about the entire epic journey "The Labors of Ki'sh'toba: Volumes 1-6?" I have previously reviewed 1-5, not to mention the 2-volume "Termite Queen" saga. I liked them...a lot. I continually complained about the difficult names, places, and concepts with the conlang (constructed language) of the Termite world. Too many apostrophes and a bunch of other punctuation I have no clue how to pronounce.
I will complain no more. I still can't pronounce 90% of the termite language, but I can visually recognize the names of the main characters. All have become familiar and lovable in their own ways. Di'fa'kro'mi, the Remembrancer (story teller) is quite an adept author considering he had to invent a written language in which to tell the tales. I know, the real Remembrancer is Lorinda Taylor, but she is such a wonderful writer, I was immersed in the stories as if they were really told by Di'fa'kro'mi.
As I did when first reading "Charlotte's Web," I wept over the death of some of my favorites throughout the entire six volumes. I cried for termites? Yes, I did, and I'm not ashamed.
The entire tale of Ki'shto'ba and his labors (modeled on the Greek Hercules myth) is hard to get into, but an epic worthy of the difficulty of the journey.
I completely and thoroughly recommend the entire six volumes. But you might want to start with the Termite Queen books to allow yourself to ease into the idea of termite heroes.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Chris The Story Reading Ape
on Nov. 9, 2014 :
Of all the books in this series, this is the one I dreaded reading.
There are a lot of prophecies fulfilled, resulting in the loss of great companions and it is the last book of the series.
The final few chapters not only gripped me with sadness, they helped me reconcile with the losses (Ki'shto'ba's final moments were an astounding fulfilment of a prophecy AND achieved the 12th and final Wonder in a way that is unparalleled by any Shi'Shi) AND gave me hope that another remarkable series may be penned by the author....
I certainly hope so...
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)