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The Chamber in the Sky

The Chamber in the Sky is the fourth and final book in M. T. Anderson’s amazing sci-fi/fantasy Norumbegan Quartet.

If you haven’t read the other books in this series, please check out my reviews of The Game of Sunken Places, The Suburb Beyond the Stars, and The Empire of Gut and Bone.

Read the books in order, and I’ll be surprised if you won’t be scrambling for book four like I was! But, please, PLEASE don’t ruin it by reading this review! So, check out M. T. Anderson’s awesome novels and come back on Friday for a TGIF double-review!

Last warning to avert your eyes if you haven’t read books 1 through 3…

All right! Very little synopsis will be found here, as I don’t want to even kinda spoil your own enjoyment of The Chamber in the Sky.

Childhood friends Brian and Gregory are on their way to find someone who can help them stop the Thusser invasion of Earth. The privileged, fluffy-brained Norumbegan’s refuse to believe they’re in any danger, even as Brian and Gregory see the Thusser’s move in and turn everyone’s minds to mush.

So, along with the regal Gwynyfer, the two boys search for a long-shunned Norumbegan that left the courts in disgust at their lack of attention to the Game. They are hoping for an off switch to the chaos as their family is falling prey to the Thusser on Earth and their troll friend Kalgrash helps to defend the Thusser’s next target.

Will Brian and Gregory be able to save the world?

As you can see, I gave very little information about what will actually happen. After all, if you’ve read the first three books, I figure you’re invested enough not to need it. Right?

The Chamber in the Sky continues M. T. Anderson’s tradition of remarkable, creative, classic-feeling adventure that imagines entirely new civilizations, disasters, and solutions. This is truly an original treat: scary, funny, awesome, and exciting!

There are many types of characters, some delightfully amusing to dislike, and some impossible to not whole-heartedly root for. The Chamber in the Sky is extremely clever and smart with writing that shines brightly.

However, I will admit that I was surprised at how upsetting and disturbing The Chamber in the Sky was at times. The dramatic moments are made more powerfully affective by the skill the author pens it with. It worked, but all that combined with the continually degrading friendship of our leads was distressing.

The Chamber in the Sky has a bittersweet, understated end to an always unpredictable series that really brought a grounded seriousness to the series as a whole. The Norumbegan Quartet is an honestly diverse, stunning inspired masterpiece.

I’m not fully formed on my opinion of the end, but definitely leans toward “wow”.

So: Wow.


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