The saying getting there is nearly half the fun was obviously never meant to apply to travel by airplane these days. What with having to show two hours early for every flight to allow for potential cavity searches, usually being followed by being crammed into a too small space next to an air-sick child who screams the whole flight, there is only a limited amount of fun to be had. In fact, aside from fantasizing about pushing the aforementioned child out an emergency exit at 30,000 feet, the only fun left in travel is the relief felt upon arrival.
That's not to say that the saying is completely archaic and without it's uses any more, because it still holds true when reading successful epic fantasy novels. Authors like Steven Erikson, James Barclay, Ashok Banker, and Roesmary Kirstein have made the how we make the journey to the conclusion of their multi-booked series as an integral part of the process as the plot. These writers, as well as others, have put such effort into creating the worlds their stories take place in, they take on a life of their own outside the actions of the characters that you're reading about.
Of course the journey to whatever conclusion awaits is also enhanced by the number of plot lines most of these authors seem able to juggle simultaneously. Instead of merely following the trail of one central figure as he or she rights the wrongs of the world, we follow the fortunes of any number of loosely connected characters, who may never even know of each other's existence. Each one of the characters play not only a vital role in seeing the story through to it's conclusion, they also make the world they live in that much more believable.
The Born Queen is the final part of the series The Kingdoms Of Thorn And Bone by the American author Greg Keyes. Over the course of the first three books of the quartet, The Briar King, The Charnel Prince, and The Blood Knight, we have followed in the footsteps of the various characters he created as they have struggled to overcome not only the foreign powers that threaten their homeland of Crotheney, but the mysterious forces of entropy that have been released upon the world that threaten to devour all life.
The Royal Family of Crotheney has been decimated through treason and assassination until its only surviving members by the time the fourth book rolls around are the late King's wife, her son, who is mentally unfit to rule, and the youngest daughter Anne. Anne is now Queen and is battling to not only preserve her country from invasion by mortal forces, but for control of the ancient supernatural forces that control life in her world.