I spent most of the weekend reading, of course. (Harry Potter, in case you couldn't guess.) Unlike Georg, I didn't attempt to clock my reading hours, because I was actually trying to stretch it all out and make it last, seeing as how it's the final one and all. I decided against picking the book up at midnight Friday, as I had originally planned, because I knew I would then stay up all night to read it and staying up all night doesn't agree with me at all. So instead I went to the Regulator at 9 am and picked up my copy, settling in on the sofa for most of the day. It was sort of a shame that it had to be released on such a gorgeous day--sunny but not too hot--so I made a point of keeping than back door open while i sat on the sofa, and spending some of my reading time out in the back yard. I also took a break to take the dogs for a nice walk and to attend a week-late Bastille Day party thrown by an agility pal.
I will try to speak cryptically, but if you haven't read it and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now, just in case. First I just want to say: I KNEW IT! What was revealed in Chapter 33, "The Prince's Tale," turned out pretty much as I expected and hoped. Well, almost--it actually was far better than I had thought it would be. That was most gratifying.
I was disconcerted, but not surprised, by the body count. Mostly I took the deaths in stride because I knew someone had to bite it--we're fighting supreme evil here, people! But there was one death a little more than halfway through the book (last page of Chapter 23), that really hit me in the gut. I got a bit teary-eyed over it.
Although the ending wasn't exactly as I expected, it was far from a surprise, as Jim Dale had characterized it. I didn't expect it to be handled the way it was, but then again, when your whole plot revolves around magic you can get away with a lot and still satisfy your readers, can't you? And I am satisfied. Except that I still wonder what exactly happened to Florean Fortescue. Or did I miss it somewhere? I have to go and re-read the whole thing ASAP.