Hi! My name is Anna, "You'd really like me if you got to know me. I've known me for years and I love me."
Word count: about 160 000
Ha ha! I'm done bitches!
No, really, now I've read 2 prequels + 6 books and am ready to give you my honest opinion. Starting with the fact, that it's the first cover in the whole series I didn't like.
Did the series wow me? No, it's not 100% my cup of tea.
Did I have fun? Oh, boy.
Scattered thoughts assemble! (?!!) Or not... Suit yourself.
First I'll say a few words about this book, then about a series as a whole.
- there was lots of action
- Sullivan can write a really good sword-fight (and by good I mean exciting and put into more than two sentences, not the realism of it, let's not go there).
- Plot twists. Quite a few. (Yes, admittedly some things were predictable, some weren't, but come on! It's a fantasy! How original can you get? And more importantly do we care? No! Why?)
- because execution was excellent. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
- everything nicely comes together at the end.
- the plot twists that come unexpected, which there are many of, are truly delicious. I was surprised quite a few times. And in a best way.
- characters we love don't get 'broken' along the way - we still love them in the end. You know what I mean; sometimes you're introduced to a kick-ass character that somewhere along the way looses their collective shit for no good reason.
- it's not all sunshine and rainbows
- there's some love (which is nice since that's just a part of life), but at no point does it overshadow the story. It's a by-product of events, not a main focus. And it doesn't randomly take over people's lives either.
- Common sense of characters, bitches! That's really nice. Yes, Hadrian is meant to be an idealist, but that shows more through his beliefs than being TSTL. People do what has to be done and deal with reality.
- I can't express how much I love the fact that people kill and people die. Sounds silly? It shouldn't. If you've read, let's say, Harry Potter, you know that the good guys can't really go in for a kill. Not in this book. Here fights are for real, and people die. Sometimes you have to do it. No, knocking them unconscious won't do.
- which brings me to the next point - nobody's safe. People die. Sometime good people die. Sometimes for stupid reasons. That's life. Deal with it.
Oh, and by the way, I'm not getting over the awesome friendship between two MCs any time soon. I want to have someone like that in my life! Hadrian and Royce worked out really well together. Each is distinct, with a wonderful personality. Their outlooks on life and other things differ, which makes them more realistic. There are no two people that completely agree on everything.
Moreover their roles and skills complement each other. Sometimes you end up with one character so amazing, that it overshadows everyone else. Well, not this time. Both Royce and Hadrian hold their own.
I also think that they work very well as a pair. Their friendship makes sense to me.
Additionally there are many side characters that change and grow. Some of them are only a small part of the books but are a thrill to read about. We encounter a really amazing and varied cast.
I still maintain that the first tome was a bit sloppy. Myron (a monk) does play a part in next instalments, but there was no reason for him to be left alive in the beginning. Even at the end of the last book I still couldn't stop thinking about it. Why(show spoiler)
Yes, there were some excuses given, but for me they didn't make sense.
It's a PG 13 read. And I'm not saying that as a criticism. You don't need gore and sex to make books interesting and exciting. I'm just giving you all heads up - this would be is a good gift for your niece or nephew.
The ending of the series was everything you may want (that is if you like happy-ends). Lot of plots and information come together to form a one, pretty exciting picture.
*** Even though I usually read books in order of publication in this case I'd recommend starting with prequels. They're great. ***
I'd gladly read more books by Michael Sullivan. Those two lucky ARCs made my life a little happier and introduced me to a fun series.