I have been waiting for this one. Oh yes. Very patiently, I might add. But waiting, nonetheless.
I was so lucky to read this book really early. I can tell you, though, that even that early on, by the time it ended up in my hands, it didn’t really need anything corrected. It was amazing right out of the gate (if you’ll ah… pardon the phrasing, lol).
Guys. It was glorious. It was motherfucking GLORIOUS. (What I’m saying is that you better hold onto your butts for some seeeeerious gushing *spews rainbows and glitter*).
The Empire is on the verge of collapse. The kragh invasion has broken upon the rising tide of demons. Tens of thousands have died, yet that is as nothing compared to the coming apocalypse.
Desperate, beleaguered, and without recourse, Asho and his friends will have to make common cause with their enemies if they are to confront the rising tide of evil. Yet even that may prove insufficient. The forces unleashed by the Iron Circlet are overwhelmingly powerful, and have but a single goal: the conquering of the Black Gate.
“What can we do?” asked Patash.
“Nothing,” said Audsley. “That’s a ysil-athamagr. We are, I’m afraid, quite genuinely fucked.”
Let me see…
I’m not 100% sure that I have words for what I thought of it. I should be the good book reviewer and talk about how good the writing is or how well plotted it is instead of just making this review “IT’S AMAZING. FUCKING READ IT *mic drop*” so let me give this a go. I’ll tell you that, much like I pointed out in my review of the book before this one, The Iron Circlet, Tucker is most definitely honing his writing skill with every book that comes out. This book had me highlighting really good vocabulary words, or metaphors or just really well said lines more than once. But, what will always win me over are good characters, and this book… no, the whole series, is fantastic on that front.
I love just about every character in these books now on some level. For realsies. I have actual emotional attachments to people that do not actually exist now thanks to this series (and that, more than anything in my eyes is an example of excellent writing in my opinion). Asho especially, who I have cheered for this entire time, who I’ve hoped had a happy ending, but one that was fair and just and didn’t have his lifelong fight to prove that Bythians lives are just as valuable as everyone else’s mean nothing.
Tiron’s speech at Ramswold and his men, saying that while he thinks they are great knights, he cannot hold with them if they fight only for the glory of Ascension, because when he swore an oath to them, he swore it for justice for all: “A justice that allows people like Asho to be judged by their actions and not their birth.” That shit had me applauding. I fucking love Tiron. More and more as the series went on, and even more and more as this book went on. He’s that snarky motherfucker who doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks, but is such a good man. He is the guy that gives a speech so rousing that it convinces a curmudgeonly dragon to change his mind and then when asked what he did, answers simply that he ‘told [the dragon] to fuck off.’ Tiron is my kind of dude. He deserves all of the good. Love love love.
As for plotting, this one started out strong and never ever let up. It went mostly where I wanted… maybe needed… it to go, but it still got there in a way that had ups and downs, hopes and fears, uncertainty, and legitimately emotional parts. Things I lamented the end of three books ago are not over after all! Things that I’ve hoped for since the very beginning of the series are here, and they are AMAZING. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, and I cheered. It was an actual roller coaster of emotions at times, and I fucking loved it. I started reading, and then I read until it was done.
“White flame exploded from her body, trailing in a long tail above her, and then she slammed into the ground with the force of a thousand hammers and she was crushed down into a crouch.”
I am not actually that hard to please when it comes to books. Not really. Give me a character I can relate to (or if not relate, then make them a person I could be friends with). Make me cheer for them. Make their adventure riveting, and then have them win so hard it brings tears to my eyes, and…. probably don’t kill them off. That’s it. Bonus points if there’s a well written romance in there for them (extra bonus points if they get laid… no, you’re being ridiculous now XD). This series managed a good deal of those things.
I once tried to describe this series to someone who had never read it, and came up a little short. A lot goes on in it. There’s a lot to consider. I think I’ve figured out how to describe it now. It’s a little like Laputa/Castle in the Sky meets Warcraft. No, really… roll with it. That sounds amazing, are you kidding? It’s that… and this was a really fantastic end for it.
It was one of those books where you read it, and at the end, you just close it, look at it and nod.
This one gets five Fuck Yesses.
It’s amazing. Fucking read it. *mic drop*