The third book of the four volume Raven Cycle accelerates the downhill trend begun in the second. While the first book was tightly constructed, the third is sprawling and unfocussed. Again, the characters seem to act solely to move the plot in whatever direction the author wants it to move, rather than with any interior logic to their natures and development. And the "bad" characters are not only caricatures, but actually silly. Yet there are still a few interesting aspects to the story (though less here even than in book 2), and if there were more than a single final book remaining to read I'd probably give up now and cut my losses. We'll see if it's worth it.