my limited math skills inform me that, by stopping where I'm stopping tonight, I'm now roughly halfway through this trilogy (story in this book actually ends on page 523, then Glossaries and Extras, etc; none of the books particularly long compared to the others, etc.). so. hm. I like this. it certainly has a different feel than most of the other Fantasy multi-book "epics" I've read, and that in and of itself has its own appeal, because I don't want everything to remind me of everything else, even if there's a high enjoyment factor. Canavan is doing everything she can to try and spoil this ever feeling "epic", or "mighty", or "high stakes". it's very calm, even when dramatic things are happening. sometimes this is frustrating, and can create the feeling that not much has happened; now I realize that there have always been things happening--these are not static, padded, plot-deficient novels that go nowhere--but that the style, while avoiding purple prose, milking the big moments, or descending to melodrama, simply never really goes for the gusto.
this author may have to step it up a notch in future--if she hasn't already--and risk overplaying something, even just to get a reader's pulse racing a bit. but, as I reflect on the overall effect of reading this, I would say that there are plot twists, strange developments, and we are moving ever forward...thankfully with great characters. I cherish plot maybe most of all, so if the author were to combine this particular style with a non-plot where next to nothing happens every 100 pages, I'd be fuming now. but this whole "the world isn't imperiled, entire countries aren't at risk, but when you really think about it, the stakes are pretty high for the characters, and I'm not gonna milk it with hamfisted prose" approach seems to be working...for me, anyway. I do always want to read more. maybe my next Fantasy trilogy will be epic and sweeping and Realm-threatening. which is fun too, I grant you.