Well I am still in denial mode that this series has come to a close. PLEASE...do yourself a favor and DO NOT READ this or any review, or status update until you read this for yourself. Unfortunately, the 5 star PLUS rating I give this will tell you in itself of my love for this book. It is however the discovery of reading through this series' conclusion that no one should want spoiled.
So if you are still reading I am going to say first, you better have read it, and if you haven't, you have been warned. I will include some spoilers and do not intend to hide them. Again, you have been warned.
I LOVED this book! For the first time I feel like the author thought through all three books in the beginning and gave it everything she had to give. Laini Taylor, as I mentioned in one of my updates, is a goddess. This entire series flowed beautifully and as a cohesive unit. I have become frustrated when some series become a series as a means to sell another book. Hey, I get it...write another book, sell more books, make more money. It is an industry. But when you find a series that is a trilogy because the story is rich and deserves the number of pages you are buying, it is beyond refreshing and rewarding.
What I loved about this conclusion is that so many things from the first 2 books were brought back into the fold. Untold stories about Razgut, where Akiva came from, just to name a few. And new relationships were formed that were just so magical and unexpected.
We are introduced to a new female, Eliza, who is not forced into this series but enters with purpose and important ties to those around her. I was left guessing for much of the book as to who the hell this girl was and what her tie could be. Was she related to Karou, to Akiva, another resurrected soul by Brimstone, who is she?? in the end her connection was even better than I imagined. She is one "cool chic" and ultimately becomes the perfect companion to Karou and Zuz.
Zuz and Mik, of course, are lovely. They have some fantastic moments and get to dish out some wishes for good and bad and get their moment to shine in more ways than one.
Liraz and Ziri for me, made this book. Ziri was probably one of the most lovable and strong characters in this series and he needed and deserved to be loved. I was not expecting Liraz to be that someone but as this unfolded I was so overjoyed. The flashbacks to previous books and their interactions, or near interactions, brought forth an understanding between these characters of the sacrifices and losses they have both experienced. Liraz's struggle with her past and her marks are heartfelt and crushing...she needed a sweet soul to guide her and she found the sweetest one. *holding back tears*
I so enjoyed the reunion of Akiva and Karou. Their relationship is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and while they could have physically reunited sooner, it was their love for their dream that proved to come first, which was the way it should have been.
Is this a happily ever ending? Not really. Yes we get our loving couples reunited, and the bad guys got what was coming to them, but I loved that not everything was rosie and wrapped in pink. This is Eretz we are talking about...where war has been their life for far too long. To turn this all around in a matter of days is not realistic at all. This is a journey with the dream and the hope for pink bows and rainbows, and that's what is remarkable about this conclusion. There is much work to be done and years of rebuilding ahead for them all. But they are together.
Overall I felt that nearly every stone was turned...I did want Gabriel to return in the end, so for me Zuz and Mik bring him back to Eretz following one of their trips to Earth. :) And I did want a bit more resolution as to the end fate of Razgut. But neither of these items did I feel dampened my spirit. I have read that some readers feel that the series is so open ended that we could get more from LT. While that sounds great, I would hope this NEVER happens. Don't mess with a good thing. Some books are best completed in our own minds.
This was a buddy read with Andrew. Thanks for taking this journey with me!