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The Merchant Emperor (The Symphony of Ages)…
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The Merchant Emperor (The Symphony of Ages) (2014)

by Elizabeth Haydon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Symphony of Ages (7)

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
I, like many others, have been waiting forever for this book. I loved the initial trilogy when I read it in high school, and continued to fall in love with them as the series continued. This book was both a joy and a disappointment. I was glad my favorite characters were featured more heavily than in the last book, and some of my less favored characters were more absent. I very much enjoyed reading it - that being said, I mostly enjoyed it because I'm already six-books-invested in this series. I'm already on board with the world and the story line. This books focuses on pushing some of the story lines along to get characters where they need to be for the next aspect of the narrative. I would be much more sympathetic to this (a common complaint about mid-series volumes) if it weren't for the fact that now we will most likely have to wait several years to find out what all of that positioning has been moving towards. For a book that took so long to come out, with no plans for an immediate sequel, it didn't have much of its own plot.

I still loved it though - I just want to recognize that I loved it because I love the whole series, not because I loved this particular installment of it. ( )
  LSmith862 | Apr 13, 2018 |
This excellent series continues after a long delay. Many scores to be settled and conflicts to be resolved. The next installment is eagerly awaited. ( )
  jamespurcell | Oct 1, 2017 |
The Merchant Emperor is the seventh book in The Symphony of Ages series by Elizabeth Haydon. With an 8 year gap since the release of book 6 and the couple more years it took me to discover that Haydon has finally finished the series, this one has been a long time coming. I was so happy to be back in this world that I've come to love with characters that I've missed.

The war for the known world has come. Talquist, former merchant and now the Emperor or Sorbold, has two ambitions: exterminate everyone involved in the Cymrian Alliance and become immortal. With the aid of a giant statue animated by a pair demons Talquist is confident he has almost everything he needs to acheive his goals. There is just one piece remaining. According to an ancient prophecy, to gain immortality Talquist needs to eat the living heart of the Child of Time. Unsure of his name or where the child is located, one thing is certain: the Child of Time is Rhapsody's newborn son. To protect her son and save her people Rhapsody must reconcile her duties as a mother and a ruler to join the war herself, wielding Daystar Clarion, whether she likes it or not.

Now that I've finished it, I have to say I feel conflicted. I think Haydon found herself in a bit of a bind when writing this book. How much would her fans remember of the previous books? With that in mind she spends a good portion of the book giving the reader reminders of what went on before through character dialog and memories. This bogs down the books pacing dramatically. Just as actual plot is revealed another flashback would be described for a few pages. While I appreciate the idea, I think she went overboard with all the reminders as they started to distract from the story itself. This continues for a good three quarters of the book before the real story begins to move forward. Once it does, I remember why I love this series so much!

The writing is wonderful as always. All the characters I have missed are back. Each of the personalities are the same as before, with their flaws and and some fantasy tropes mixed in. Achmed and Grunthor are not given near enough page time. Achmed's scene with Tristan at the end does not disappoint! Talquist's character is fleshed out more. His motivations are revealed and he's become the ultimate sociopath villain. Rhapsody's character arc came as a surprise. I'd gotten so used to her Mary Sue ways that when circumstances force her to change, it's an unexpected breath of fresh air and completely in line as something her character would do in such a situation.

The Merchant Emperor is one of those middle books that feels like the set up for something much bigger. All of the characters have been moved to their places, the stage is set, and just as things start to happen, it ends. This is definitely the bridge between what has happened before and what is going to happen next. ( )
  Narilka | May 23, 2017 |
Having been almost eleven years between books in this series, I was extremely excited to return to the fantasy world that Haydon so beautifully created in her first set of trilogies, starting with "Rhapsody."
I was worried, that since so much time had passed I would not remember a lot of what may be happening without re-reading the first 6 books, a venture that would have taken a very long time, and I as mentioned, I was eager to return to the story.
Haydon does, though, put in enough reflection on the characters parts, to remind readers of events that unfolded in prior books that are paramount the story unfolding. In this, I was grateful. The writing was enough to jog my memory in specific areas, and if not, plainly tell me what had happened. Perhaps she knew, having waited so many years, that this was necessary.
As I expected, the writing was great, as Haydon's usually is. She is masterful at characterization and story building. There was element that I do not remember from her previous stories, that nagged at me. She seemed to repeat herself quite a lot. She would repeat phrases or dialogue throughout, seemingly everytime two characters came in contact or thought about each other. "Last time we saw each other, you said this, and did this." over and over. It began to feel more like page filler then actual progression of story. I already know about that conversation, because you told me three chapters back that exact dialogue, etc. However, this was only a small distraction, from what was otherwise a very well written addition to the series.
The three main protagonists' story lines in the book did seem very stagnant for most of the story, and left me wanting more of their old adventures. Hiding out in a mountain for most the book began to drag on, and felt a little out of character of sorts. It does pick up quite quickly near the end though, in what I am hoping is a more adventurous and quickly paced finish the new trilogy in the next two books.
The other aspect that I loved about the book is I can feel the beginnings of characters that Haydon may (hopefully) utilize in later books and possibly later series as she begins to mold and develop them. Characters like Gwydion and Melisande Navarnne who I am really enjoying! Also Rhapsody's child Meridion, who could headline his own series easily. One thing I love about Haydon is her ability to endear me to her characters.
Lastly, one thing I disliked, and what kept me from giving the novel a five start rating, is the villain. The namesake of the title of the book. The Merchant Emperor. I just could not understand nor believe him. The skillsets he exudes in the book such as manipulation of kings and rulers, amazing war strategy, and a complete lack of care for loss of life to anyone, just don't feel natural. There is little to explain his bloodlust from any past Haydon paints for him. Also, how would he be so skilled at warfare and strategy when he has seen little to none of it, and never been in an army to say? It's all a little far fetched in my mind. He seems the least thought out character of the story line, and yet, one of the most important. Just having a villain who is evil, just because, seems a little lazy.
Otherwise, this was a fantastic addition to an amazing fantasy series! I cannot wait to pick up the next! Haydon has easily reminded my why I love this world she has built so much with this instalation. ( )
  Kiddboyblue | Nov 15, 2016 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Haydonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In Loving Memory
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Carole
forever faithful
and William, James, and Constance
forever young
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In the quiet glade, where green leaves were painted in streaks of light, deep inn the silence of a place out of Time, the heavy mist of morning burned off in the gentle glare of the rising sun.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765305666, Hardcover)

The long awaited seventh book in Elizabeth Haydon’s critically-acclaimed epic fantasy series, the Symphony of Ages.

The war that they had feared is now upon them. Ashe and Rhapsody, leaders of the Cymrian Alliance, are gathering their allies to combat the machinations of Talquist, who will soon be crowned emperor of Sorbold. Gwydion Navarne remains by Ashe’s side. Anborn, Lord Marshal, has taken to the field. And Rhapsody has been forced into hiding to protect the life of her infant son.

The Merchant Emperor of Sorbold has unintentionally allied himself with a pair of demons and has begun targeting the dragons that remain on the Middle Continent. Talquist will stop at nothing until the Cymrians are wiped out and the entire continent and the rest of the Known World is under his rule.  

Assailed by danger from all sides, surrounded by lies and intrigue, Rhapsody is left with one undeniable truth: if their forces are to prevail, she must join the war herself, wielding the Daystar Clarion, an ancient weapon whose power is nearly unparalleled. As she struggles to reconcile her duties as a mother and ruler, a danger far more devastating than Talquist is stirring beneath the surface of the land itself.

In The Merchant Emperor, beloved characters are forced to make soul shattering sacrifices. Bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon has delivered a breathtaking seventh installment to the Symphony of Ages.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:20 -0400)

"The long awaited seventh book in Elizabeth Haydon's critically-acclaimed epic fantasy series, the Symphony of Ages.The war that they had feared is now upon them. Ashe and Rhapsody, leaders of the Cymrian Alliance, are gathering their allies to combat the machinations of Talquist, who will soon be crowned emperor of Sorbold. Gwydion Navarne remains by Ashe's side. Anborn, Lord Marshal, has taken to the field. And Rhapsody has been forced into hiding to protect the life of her infant son.The Merchant Emperor of Sorbold has unintentionally allied himself with a pair of demons and has begun targeting the dragons that remain on the Middle Continent. Talquist will stop at nothing until the Cymrians are wiped out and the entire continent and the rest of the Known World is under his rule. Assailed by danger from all sides, surrounded by lies and intrigue, Rhapsody is left with one undeniable truth: if their forces are to prevail, she must join the war herself, wielding the Daystar Clarion, an ancient weapon whose power is nearly unparalleled. As she struggles to reconcile her duties as a mother and ruler, a danger far more devastating than Talquist is stirring beneath the surface of the land itself.In The Merchant Emperor, beloved characters are forced to make soul shattering sacrifices. Bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon has delivered a breathtaking seventh installment to the Symphony of Ages. "--… (more)

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