Michelle West has invented an incredibly detailed world in the "House War" series and "Battle" http://www.amazon.com/Battle-House-War-Book-Five/dp/0756407958/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361422443&sr=1-1&keywords=battle+by+michelle+west, the fifth book in this series is just as richly and superbly detailed. Her characters live and sing. They nigh near breathe our air and eat our food. There are so many richly written characters, that heroes from one volume to the other, are added and removed from the mix, and we barely miss them because of the superb character development and incredible world that they inhabit.
But a novel, no matter how rich its characterizations and world must intrigue the reader. It must be a journey of discovery and growth. Some of us are hooked on this series. We will keep reading West's richly textured world because we love the characters and world, but this whole series has become so Jordanesque, its frightening. The novel may be interesting, but after five books we should expect more. We need more.
But we do not receive.
The plot of the overall series is barely advanced. Some secrets of some characters are revealed. Other characters disappear for great lengths of the novel. Political maneuvering is rampant but barely anything happens.
The title is completely inconsistent with the tenor of the novel. At best, the novel should have been called "girding for battle",
And where does the novel leave off, exactly where we can predict.
So, while those of you like me who are stuck in the series, all we can wish is that West could cut down on the engrossing prose and great world building, and get on with it.