The pacing isn’t fast, but it is just right. The actions aren’t created to merely thrill the readers, but they are thrilling and serve as bench marks of the characters’ growth — everything moves their understanding of the world along. I so appreciate Farmer’s ability to create highly imaginative and imaginable (for a not very visual reader) landscapes. It is wonderful to encounter fresh new details of your staple fantasy elements, such as the power of the bell Fair Lamenting and how it is truly magical due to the artistic achievement of the maker of the clapper and how Mermaids crave good combs because barnacles find their hair the best place to grow and without combs, they will be weighed down by the barnacles on their heads and can never swim.
So much sympathy is given to all the characters, including the villains – lots of gray and never strictly black and white. And the last page made me happy, too — what a nice way to end a popular trilogy.