Karou, Akiva and the rest of the familiar characters are back, but now are facing a war which could tear apart both the human world and Eretz. In order to prevent this, chimaera and seraphim must come together and unite against the darkness the world could be facing. But how can this be achieved when there are secrets on both sides and generations of hatred between the two? And will this mean more than an alliance forged between Karou and Akiva, could they be finally reaching what they wished for?
Yet again, Laini Taylor has astounded me with her writing. It is just beautiful to read and flows so well yet serves more purpose than just carrying along the plot. But I have said this all before in my review for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so instead I will move on to things more specific to this book. For me, I felt that all the characters continued to grow and I loved how they all balanced against each other, so there wasn’t a boring moment. I was kept on the edge of my seat many times as the setting switched between characters. It was wonderful to spend more time with the characters we already know as well as be introduced to some new ones, except I was a bit unsure on how much Eliza belonged in the book but I will come to that later on. Zuzana and Mik added much needed lightness to the story, but at the same time we saw a lot of character development for these two as well.
Moving on to Karou and Akiva, I really liked how their relationship was handled, and I didn’t mind the tension and the dragging out of the romance, I think it added something more to their story than if they had just kissed within a couple of chapters or something. There needed to be that anticipation and the feeling of happiness not quite being attainable, a sense of desperation for love to replace fighting. Without the slow burn of the romance this book would have lost a lot of the passion and emotion that it had. That is not to say that it all hung on the romance, there was a lot more at stake than that, but the romance kind of represented what was going on in the grander scale of the novel and therefore as we despair for the romance, we are also hooked on the other events of the novel.
I absolutely adored the development that went into Liraz’s character. The journey she went on in this trilogy in terms of her character is kind of beautiful. I loved how she was handled, she was more realistic than Karou I would say (but don’t get me wrong, I love Karou’s character too), she was flawed like a real human being, and therefore interesting to read about and someone you end up rooting for even if she may not have originally been the most likeable character. I won’t go into it more than that because I don’t want to spoil it for any of you! This is just one example though, I loved every single one of the characters, also notably Ziri. I think interesting themes were explored by having him act through Thiago’s body. He was just such a sweet, admirable character, as well as being fascinating to read about.
Now talking about Eliza, to begin with she came as a welcome break from all of the depth and trauma of the characters we know and love, she was likeable and her chapters were entertaining to read about, but she began to lose any sense of belonging and purpose a bit later on in the book, and it was like the author didn’t really know what to do with her for the late middle section of the book?? And then she had too much importance by the end? The ending got a bit too complicated too suddenly for me and a bit too convenient, however it was ultimately satisfying nonetheless. But anyway, I’m not going to get too hung up on this because the book was stunning any other way you look at it, and this factor won’t prevent me from giving the book five hearts.
I am pretty sure this is taking top spot of the trilogy for me. I couldn’t put it down, despite it being 600+ pages long I just raced through it. I loved the intensity of it, but there was also humour and everything was balanced so perfectly, there wasn’t a dull page. Add writing dripping with beauty and gorgeousness and you have a winner. I will read anything Laini Taylor writes, she is incredible, and this series is for me now a firm favourite. In fact, I will be reading Strange the Dreamer soon, and I am so excited!