Much to my dismay, Lawrence Watt-Evans' Ithanalin's Restoration is the last Ethshar book; apparently, sales for the latest few have been poor, so the planned future volumes will never be written. Since all the books stand alone, this isn't an enormous tragedy; but it's nevertheless disappointing.

Because Ithanalin's Restoration was never intended to be the final volume of a long series, I'll refrain from reviewing it that way -- which is just as well, because it's a slight installment that wouldn't hold up to the series-capping strain. The story here is that the wizard Ithanalin screwed up a spell and dispersed his mind amongst his now-animated furniture; because all the real wizards are occupied with the events of The Spell of the Black Dagger (which takes place contemporaneously), his apprentice has to retrieve all the furniture and set things right.

There are no world-shaking events here; just a lot of furniture collection and minor magic use. In retrospect, it's surprising that events this insignificant could really be the entire plot of a novel; but taken on its own terms, it's an enjoyable read, one that quickly bounces along from event to event to conclusion. As the mid-series divertissement this was intended to be, it works well, but never rises to any great heights. If you've read this far in the Ethshar series, it's worth reading Ithanalin's Restoration, but particularly critical readers won't want to pay hardcover prices to get it.


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