At long last we have come to the concluding volume in Ricardo Pinto’s The Stone Dance of The Chameleon series. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine a fantasy series would have this profound an effect on my mind, body, and soul. Ricardo pushes us into a world of pure cynicism, vengeance, and keeping power in the hands of the people who have it and out of the hands of others. What would happen if that balance is shattered? How many lives would be destoryed in order to gain retribution for a great evil? Would you be able to make that choice? Ricardo Pinto shows us the great evils of humanity and he will not let you up for air even once. This will not be the ending you will expect to see but given how the story has evolved, can’t say I’m at all surprised. This seven book epic is a literary masterpiece written with the cruelest and darkest of intentions. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon the events of the previous volumes.
Carnelian and Blue have escaped the confines of the Iron House and have witness the slaughter of the Sartlar troops by the God Emperor’s army. Hundreds of thousands of corpses are spread throughout the battlefield and the carnage will not let up for a moment. When Osidian returns victorious over his brother, Osrakum is ripe for the taking and Carnelian is tasked to help the army into the city. Carnelian has also discovered the truth in that he and Osidian are half-brothers descended from the old God Emperor. This was the great secret as to why Carnelian was exiled with his father at the beginning of our story and it has brought us to this point. Osidian’s coranation at the hands of the twelve Grand Sapients is about to take place but what to do about the Empress in the meantime? I will leave the summary there as to not ruin the book and the wild ride the author takes us on.
Even days after finishing The Third God, my mind continues to race with the implications and destruction we witness in this book. All of the questions we have about the world, races, and balance of power will be answered. This includes a shocking twist I never saw coming. Carnelian’s hope for a brighter future is the thread we hold on to while reading this series. However, time and time again we see that he is either too naive, trustworthy of others, or wanting to see the good in people but it almost never materializes. Everyone has alterior motives to the point where Carnelian can not trust himself. The shocking moments in this finale are without a doubt when we as the reader see Carnelian’s dreams come true. You will not want to miss them coming to fruition.
Many of the dark aspects this book represented to the reader, although cruel, is a reflection on some dark moments we have experienced as a people. Ricardo takes us down this dark path as a warning of what great evils we can do to each other and strive to avoid them. There is always a cost for vengeance and great shifts in power. Although it may not show right away, it will always bubble beneath the surface. Your will never read another series like this one and that is a personal guarantee.
If you do not enjoy grimdark troupes and writting then I can not recommend this series to you. Not everyone will find this series to be their cup of tea but the messaging, delivery, and assembly were all done brilliantly. The Stone Dance of The Chameleon has now cemented itself in my Top 5 favorite series of all time but it will be many years until I gather the courage to read this series once again. I look forward to reading every book Ricardo Pinto will publish from this day forward.