Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Once again a series has ended perfectly. I am so pleased with how this book went. Such a great series. There was no second book slump, as you could tell from my review of Dark Triumph. Just like the 2nd one, we are following a different character. One of the three girls we met in the first two, this time it was Annith. Who had lived her whole life at the convent. Even having to deal with the prior abbess who had been cruel to her. Annith is currently waiting on word from her friends Ismae and Sybella. And while she waits, she hopes to soon get her own assignment to go out and help with the duchess and all that is going on in their country. But it doesn't seem to be happening for her. In fact, with her habit of being able to overhear things behind closed doors, it seems that the latest abbess, who once had seemed to be the one to help Annith out against the Dragonette, wants Annith to take the job of Seeress. Annith can't imagine anything worse than this. It is like a death sentence in a way. The Seeress never leaves the convent. Really never leaves her quarters. After all the times of being locked in dark rooms, being basically stuck inside for the rest of her life terrifies her. And so Annith does what she thinks will help, she goes and makes sure to nurse the current seeress back to health, so that they will not need a new one.
But it doesn't seem to help. One of the younger girls is sent out instead of Annith, a girl who is not ready. And Annith goes to protest it, only to find out that the abbess has decided to tell her she is going to train to be seeress. She gives Annith a choice when she refuses. She can either stay and study to become the seeress, or the abbess will find her a husband from the surrounding area. So Annith starts doing what she can to try to figure out if there is any way around this. She's sent her whole life training to be an assassin, and feels that her skills will be wasted if she is stuck there. When the abbess says she must go on a trip to see what is going on herself outside the convent, Annith must give her answer. She wants to stay and find answers, so she says yes and begins her training. But once the abbess is gone, she begins looking for answers around the convent. What she does find only leads to more questions, and so Annith realizes she must run away. Not just to leave, but to go out and confront the abbess with what she has learned away from the convent.
On her way out she comes across a hunt of dangerous riders. They are the hellequin, death's riders. Out to catch people that death is looking for. She figures maybe they are out looking for her after she's run away from Mortain's convent. So she pretends to be someone else to use the protection of their leader, Balthazaar. But their hunt never seems to get her to the town she needs to be, and once again she finds herself running away. But not before she learns more about these soldiers of Mortain. And on her next escape she gets help from another group of servants to a god, the Arduinnites. Who aren't really fans of Mortain and his followers. So she must prove herself to them, even though they do help her.
She will finally reach her friends, and the duchess. But along with all of them will be the abbess. And soon she will learn things about her past, who her parents are. Not to mention she will learn things that will turn everything she has known upside down, and she'll wonder if any of her life has meant anything, or if it was all a lie. She will find love, with the leader of the hellequins, and find out he may not be exactly who she thinks he is. And in the end, she will help the duchess fight in the only method left to save her kingdom and people.
A perfect ending I have to say. And I love how the author adds in the historical notes at the end, because I wondered which of the characters were real. I do like that there are bits at the end about where the characters will go after this. Something I always like to know. I could even enjoy a bit of spin off of some of the characters. A great, great series. I will always recommend this to someone looking for a strong female character (3 for sure!), as well as historical fiction with a bit of fantasy added in.