This was an incredible book. What can I say that wasn't already said? This book featured ots of great character moments and even more political intrigue, everything that I love about like most of George's books (Plagues of Night, Serpents Among the Ruins, Rough Beasts of Empire
). The highlights of this book were Gell Kamemor's daring visit to Earth (I loved the honorable nature of Admiral Devik) and showdown with Nan Bacco, Kira's sacrifice (I'm certain we'll see her again), Sisko/Kasidy/Kira's co-vision (and gave us a truly satisfying conclusion to Sisko's arc), and finally seeing the end of Tomalak's and Sela's scheming.
One thing that caught my attention towards the end of the book and was surprised that it wasn't addressed was Odo's goal of informing the Federation about the Romulan's use of a phase cloak for the equipment theft. It's been stated several times in the last few Tython Pact books (particularly the George books) that the Romulan's are quietly using the phase cloak without the intention of letting anyone (including their Tyhon allies) knowing about it as a means of defense. Not only that, but it was one of the few policies that Gell Kamemor carried from Tal'aura's reign. With Odo's knowledge of its existence, I figure that this will create a new rift between Kamemor and Bacco and I was surprised it was brought up. I guess this a hanging thread that will be addressed in a future book?
Honestly I wish this book and Plagues of Night
had been originally released as one large hardback but I know that wouldn't have been marketable and that I'm in the vast minority in loving to read large hardbacks. Hell, my next book is Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312
which a pretty hefty book in itself.
As much as I love this book, one thing does bother me: the dishonest nature of the cover. Yes, we finally see the mostly built new Deep Space 9 at the every end of the book (and with an one year time jump!) but the wormhole is no longer operational. I really can't stand misleading covers like this and I thought it was something that wasn't done anymore. Not a big gripe but an annoyance nonetheless.