*SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS*
Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died in a tragic car accident, her sister Bea joined the elusive community called The Unity Project, leaving Lo to fend for herself. Desperate not to lose the only family she has left, Lo has spent the last six years trying to reconnect with Bea, only to be met with radio silence.
I loved the format of the book, the time jumps from the past to the present. It really established depth to the story and enabled me to form a connection to both sisters. The pace was pretty consistent and there were definitely some well places twists and turns throughout to keep me engaged and wanting to read more.
I honestly wouldn’t say that either sister is particularly likeable. Since we get more from Lo’s perspective I definitely formed more of a connection to her but I can sympathise with what Bea had to go through. Both girls fall under the spell of Lev and end up both forming a relationship with him. Bea’s I can understand more because she was in a very vulnerable state when he seen her and then thinking he saved her sister from death I can see how she would be more susceptible to him. But Lo and the way she enters the Unity Project was just strange. She has spent the last 6 years campaigning against these people and trying to find her sister and then forgets all of that and sleeps with Lev? Sure when she finds out about her niece and the fact that Bea left without her would be a reason to be angry with her sister but does she forget she’s only hearing from one side and it’s the alleged cult.
Lo really goes through a journey of self discovery and realisation throughout the course of the plot but there are just so many decisions she makes that are questionable to me. And for that reason it brought me out the story a lot and made me think why… I guess it really just reinforces how influential Lev was and how all these people are tortured and emotionally manipulated by him for all these years yet still love and revere him.
This was a rollercoaster ride for sure. I had no idea how the story was going to play out but went in a very different direction than what I was predicting in my mind. So I was constantly shocked and surprised and on the edge of my seat throughout the read. The ending was a little rushed in my opinion and I felt like this final scene at the river was being built up and then is just skipped right over and we are told what is happened instead of shown. I would of liked to know for sure how Lo survived and what happened in the water but I guess it’s just not to be.
⭐️3/5 stars A fascinating read, I was just expecting something more…
Warrior Alyssa ana’Raisa would do anything to protect her home, the Fells, and her legacy, the Gray Wolf line. But as a prisoner of Empress Celestine, Lyss is forced to turn her fearsome talents as an army commander against her beloved homeland. Refusal would swiftly lead to her death, and her death would end the Gray Wolf line. In Lyss’s absence, Fellsmarch Castle swarms with intrigue, deception, and a primordial threat. Destin Karn, a southern spymaster with a hidden agenda of his own, might be the queendom’s only hope of defeating the forces aligned against the Seven Realms . . . as well as the enemies within the castle.
I think the character I enjoyed the most in terms of their overall arc was definitely Destin Karn. He really shone for me in this last book. we get to see him be the callous assassin who will do anything to further his own agenda in court but this time his agenda aligns with the rest of the seven realms in a positive way. At the start of this series I think I thought his character wasn’t all that relevant, I don’t think I even mentioned him in my first review for Flamecaster. But to see his evolution from when he was a kid in Tarvos and then being the Assassin in Arden Court to eventually getting his happiness with Evan was wonderful to read.
Lyss and her evolution was less dramatic I find. She is pretty consistent for me throughout the series she just really comes to terms with being the new queen were as before she second guessing herself and comparing herself to Hanalea and even Juliann. Her storyline in this last book was kind of boring. We didn’t really get many chapters from her point of view and when we did it was when she was still being held captive by Celestine and not a lot was happening. I’m so glad that she was able to finally reunite with her brother, that was a great scene!
In the end Lila’s character is integral to the storyline but she didn’t have that great twist that I was waiting for. Seeing her on the council in Fellsmarch was gratifying but she didn’t really have that much of an impact that I was expecting. She works the whole conspiracy out quickly though and takes control and links with Destin again to defeat Jastin and I love the companionship between them!
In terms of the plot and the twists I have to say I was surprised by how everything played out with Celestine and the truth behind all of the parentage of all of the magemarked. I wish the eventual stand off between the Empress and her siblings was drawn out a little more and didn’t necessarily involve the dragons saving the day but again I was satisfied with how it played and I don’t really have any complaints. The big twist about who the spy was in the Fells definitely surprised me, I at no point in time thought it was going to be Mellony so that was entertaining.
Overall I’m very happy with how many point of views we get from each of the main characters. They are all so easy to differentiate and finally getting to see them all interact with each other was so satisfying and exciting. They’ve been circling for so long and scheming and to finally have everything come to a head and get answers was worth the journey for sure!
⭐️5/5 stars Highly recommend this series, if you haven’t yet read it!
*Some Spoilers Below!*
Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move the ocean and the wind, but his magical abilities seem paltry in comparison to Empress Celestine’s. As Celestine’s bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom of her imminent invasion. If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.
I loved the inclusion of Evan’s storyline in this instalment in the series. It was nice to get some background about his character and see what brought him to Arden. He was only in the first book for such a short amount of time that I almost forgot who he was and didn’t think he would be as integral to the series as he was which was a nice surprise. To see him have such a similar upbringing as the other magemarked and how his story differed from the others was very interesting and highly engaging. It was also so nice to get more of an insight into Destin before he became the Assassin of Arden and the relationship he built with Evan and how it was snatched away.
Lila is again a bit of a mystery. She pops up just about everywhere in the plot and is one of the only characters to have interactions with all of the other main characters. She seems to be deep into her spy persona and even though I think her main loyalties lie with the Gray Wolf Throne I can’t help but think the Southern Islands are going to come into play and we are going to find out more about her other family.
The world is once again expanding and we are seeing some of the other continents in this world. I liked seeing how different Carthis is to the Seven Realms and how they refer to them as wetlanders and how they connected them through the pirates. Again I am loving this side plot with the Empress and her city on the Northern Islands. We are definitely given more answers as to why she is chasing the magemarked but I am not 100% sold on what she told Lyss. I have a feeling there is still more to the story and we are going to have a massive twist in the next book.
I am loving that we are finally getting some interaction between all the characters. Having Ash back in the mix campaigning to find his sister at Fellsmarch, Lyss and Jenna on Celestegarde figuring out the Empress’s plans and then Destin and Hal back in Arden. Everyone is starting to interconnect and the action is starting to heat up. Plans are in motion and I have a feeling like this last book is going to be explosive!
⭐️5/5 stars I’m loving everything about this series so far!
*A FEW SPOILERS*
Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.
I think the first thing that I was intrigued about with this book was the world and how apocalyptic it is. How they have had to build these cities in the sky to contain what is left of the human race and how they are trying to reduce their environmental footprint by living their lives in these stasis pods for a good majority of their days.
But we are kind of thrust into the storyline which did overwhelm me a little and was a tad confusing. We aren’t really given a lot of explanation at the start as to what was happening it’s just Kasey reliving moments of her life and trying to figure out what happened with Celia. I have to admit the parallel storylines between Kasey finding out the truth and Cee on the island had me intrigued and wondering how these events played out for sure.
Cee and her experiences on the island seemed very repetitive to me and I was more interested in what was happening with Kasey. However, once Hero came along and we see the duality of his character and how he interacted with Cee I was more invested yet still confused as to how they came to be in this situation.
This book was not what I was expecting at all. A lot of the scientific explanations really went over my head, and even though it was crucial to the storyline and the reasonings behind Kasey and Art’s actions I was still lost for the majority of the time. I understood what was happening but the prose wasn’t what I was expecting for a YA book. You really had to pay attention and focus on what you were reading to be able to fully comprehend the story.
But I have to admit it was highly original and unlike anything I have read before. The way the plot evolved and we finally learn about Kasey’s secrets and why she was banned from science and the revenge she planned to take on behalf of her sister and everyone else who has died was highly gratifying.
⭐️3/5 stars a slow build, buckle up!
*SOME SPOILERS BEWARE*
Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.
I really found myself attached to Iris’s character and highly intrigued by her sisters. Immediately I was ensnared by the introduction of this book and the way Iris explained how her and her sisters were weird and strange. I liked the fact that they were all so discernible from each other and had different personalities even though they were so close.
The mystery aspect surrounding Grey’s disappearance and how Iris and Vivi have to try and piece together the clues she left behind whilst also trying to escape from the man who is chasing them was highly entertaining. It kept me engaged and wanting to read on and find out what was going to happen next. It was definitely a roller coaster ride of a plot and I was surprised at every turn.
From what we learn about Grey I didn’t really like her all that much. I appreciated the lengths she would go to to help and protect her sister’s but she kind of went too far at times. Her secretive nature and how much she supposedly didn’t tell her sisters even though they promised not to investigate what happened to them all those years ago, really didn’t give me a reason to trust her at all. Which I guess my instincts were kind of right in the end.
I really felt like Tyler’s character wasn’t all that necessary, if he wasn’t in the story at all I probably would of enjoyed the book all the same. I think his involvement in the mystery came out of nowhere and I didn’t think he was that important as a character when we are first introduced to him. I still have unanswered questions as to why he wasn’t affected by their gifts and why he is drawn so much to Grey but then didn’t come when she called to his soul.
Overall I highly enjoyed this book. I felt like the premise was highly original and entertaining and the twist at the end about what happened when they disappeared was shocking and unexpected to say the least. The prose was highly descriptive and I was able just to get lost in the story and enjoy the ride!
⭐️4/5 stars creepy, bizarre & gripping