Why does every Conan book that contains more than a hint of magic get a bad review? Just because the character Conan didn't run into magic on a weekly basis doesn't mean that other people and cultures didn't.
The thing about this novel, though, is the author used the magic as a deux ex machina
to solve each and every dilemma. This is simply poor story-telling. The characters had the perfect spells at the perfect time for each and every situation they are in - and it destroyed any state of suspense the book might otherwise have had. The most suspensful part of the trilogy was when Anok was faced with the Fingers of Set - and I was let down when Anok suddenly had the appropriate magic power to resolve it.
Even the most high-magic series I know (Xanth series, by Piers Anthony) does not use magic as poorly as this author did. The problem with this book was not the high magic - it was the use of magic to resolve each and every problem - and it was new, never before seen spells that suddenly cropped up perfectly each time. I was never worried about Anok after the Fingers of Set scene because I knew
the author would give him the perfect spell to get out of whatever mess he was in.
Xulwolf, if you have a different opinion of Anok III, why not post your review?
Alternatively, if you don't think my review is fair, why not offer a rebuttal on each point? Tell me how the recap structure of the chapters was necessary, tell me how the save-the-world plot was a good plot, tell me how the stilted dialogue was good, and so on.