The Fearful Gates wraps up Ross Lawhead’s Ancient Earth trilogy. The stage has been set for the final confrontation after all of the knights have been raised, and the new army, consisting of small children throughout Britain, have been raised. Gad has assembled his army of trolls, dragon, yfelgopes, and all other manner of creatures to take Nidergeard by force. Freya, Daniel, Alex Simpson, and company oppose them, but it becomes readily apparent that in a war, Gad’s forces would absolutely overwhelm them, and some other type of strategy for victory is needed.
The final installments in a series are always tricky. By this point, expectations have been built, and in my experiences, the final novel is typically a letdown. In the case of this series, I don’t think that the finale is better than the previous two books, but it’s at least up to par with them. The writing is tight and professional. The characters feel familiar by this point. After having gotten to know them, I wanted a good outcome for them. Typically, the finale of a epic fantasy series results in some sort of cataclysmic final battle, but it wouldn’t have made much sense here given the disparity between the two forces. The author went for something a little different in this case, and I think for the most part it worked. I could nitpick on a couple of things that I didn’t like, but taking a wider view, it made sense. For those who have read the first two novels in the trilogy, I don’t think they will be disappointed.