Four attempts and 26 years. That's how long it took me to finally complete MAR Barker's monumental "Flamesong". The world is incredible: intricate, alien, vast, internally consistent. But the late Barker's means of relating this intricacy, through long monologues at the most unlikely times, make it a difficult read. Several information dumps later, I wish that the book just had a separate glossary and timeline, rather than the long interruptions of what was a fairly decent plot. I must admit though, that I was a little wrankled by the sheer convenience of plot - especially running into a key noble figure in the middle of the desert. I really wanted to love the book, but found myself only liking it. Perhaps this is because it read more like a strongly edited role playing game session in what is an absolutely fascinating campaign. If the encyclopedic elements could have been removed or introduced in a more natural way, this would have been a four star review.