Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.
I finished the previous book in this series about three years ago. I have the attention span of a goldfish, so that's like 27 years for normal people. When I started The Dark Defiles, I had to be reminded of our protoganists names for example. I spend the first couple of hundred pages just trying to get caught up. I even tried to find a map of the world, but in my editions or online I could only muster a few small diagrams of part of the world.
After I gave up trying to figure out exactly what was going on I began to enjoy the series a lot more, though to be honest the story really didn't start to pick up until about halfway through the book. Once it got in gear, though, it was every bit as spectacular as Mr. Morgans other books. I rushed through the latter part of the book; I honestly had no idea how he was going to end it and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride until I found out.
It's hard to wrap up a saga with characters this powerful, and I think some judicious editing could have saved some space on the front half of the book to make more room in the latter half for a more involved denouement. The last few pages, in fact, feel like they got phoned in as a postcript. I hope that these tantalizing little shards become the nucleus of at least a couple of novellas if not a second series.
I would have enjoyed this a lot more if my edition included some maps and a few pages of recaps of the story so far. Now that the whole series has been published, readers getting into the series might not need them as much as I did, since they don't have to wait for the books to come out.