I was in love with this series from the start but the last book is a real climax to the entire series. We learn more about the court intrigue, and although I was expecting some twists and turns, let me tell you, it was way beyond of what I expected. And the emotions! I wasn’t in even 40% and I had ugly-cried three times already. My poor heart really went through the wringer! From being so deeply moved to edge-on-the-seat thrill to absolute rage and heart palpitations from anxiety, it was all there. And yes, that’s also a definite must read again in the future! It was THAT good!
Towards the end, when finally everything comes together – or unravels – as the case may be, (I’m still feeling a little unravelled inside from the reading experience), we finally get to calm down and the whole story is brought to a beautiful conclusion, gently washing over you in little waves that slowly take you to a more peaceful state of being. I’m absolutely sure, the author did all that on purpose because she knew what effect the book would have. I am laughing here but seriously, that was one intense ride and at some point or other, I was sure, all my favourite characters were going to meet with an untimely demise.
So if you think, this book is merely bringing all the loose ends together, be warned, you’re in for a surprise. Or several. A lot, frankly. So much happened that I never expected, finding myself cursing under my breath, not sure if I was going to like where this was going, but spellbound enough to not being able to put the book down. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion and being incapable of doing anything to prevent it. And I mean that in the best possible way. Unless you have a weak heart. In that case, you may do well to proceed with caution.
Without wanting to give anything away for those who are still to read this book or even the entire series, I’d like to still mention a few characters that have been more of supporting roles but that have really grown on me. There is Anaya’s manservant Lee and he was involved in one of my early ugly cries. (And I didn’t stop at 40% with that, either.) He is such a sweet young man that your heart goes out to him. The more you get to know him, the more you fall in love with his sweet nature and root for him.
Next, there is Kaedin, whom I’d totally challenge a certain powerful lady for because damn, the guy is hot! And Gus, a close second, with a writing style that made me laugh out loud. And there were quite a few scenes where I had to laugh out loud, not only with Gus. The mix of dark and dangerous with loving and sweet and also hilariously funny, witty humour, has certainly become a trademark of Russell’s and I love how her style develops over the course of the series and she gains more confidence in letting her humour play out, too. She is an amazing author and definitely on my 1-click-buy list, no questions asked. If it’s got her name on it, it’s going to have a place of honour on my shelf.
Then there is young Jason that makes you want to pinch his cheeks and facepalm yourself alternately or, at times, even simultaneously. If you’re a parent and have (been through) teenage children, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
And then there is the Queen of Thieves and her children who will all affect you in one way or the other. And so many more. Speaking of which, Adena, thus far, the serious priestess, shows quite a surprising new side to her character. And even the main players, like Anaya and Samael, are never static. There is more to them, their personal development and how they adapt to and face changes and challenges, that keep you invested throughout the entire series, to the very end. And over the course of six big books, that is quite a feat to pull off. But the author manages superbly.
The one thing which I have to complain about quite seriously is my lack of sleep. I’m a slow reader, this book is quite thick and because it was just so unputdownable, I have some serious catching up to do now where my sleep is concerned. But, yeah, it was sooooo worth it!
Books by Catrin Russell
A KINGDOM SCARRED SERIES
DARKNESS DIVIDED SERIES
Deathfall Wraith (Prequel 1)
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Catrin Russell is a Fantasy and Romance author from northern Sweden. Her books are all written in English and are mainly part of the Epic and High Fantasy Genre. However, she does use influences from Dark Fantasy, and a touch of Fantasy Romance.
Growing up outside a small town, basically in the middle of nowhere, Catrin eventually moved to Stockholm, where she studied computer game development and design. Meeting her soon-to-become husband online, she lived outside of London for the best parts of a year, before finally settling down in Piteå, back in Sweden. Since then, three children and two dogs have joined the family.
With a background in design and holding a degree as a registered nurse, she writes novels in medieval settings, with plenty of action and romance. She often brings moral struggles, or highlights issues in society, into her writing. Another subject that is often highlighted is mental health.
Catrin also creates concept art, bringing her characters to life on the screen, and her own cover designs, much of which can be seen on her social media pages.