Recommended Ages: 14+
Fin's journey from lowly cook to hero of the kingdom is an emotionally stirring marvel to behold. It's also a bit sexy and all kinds of hilarious, with plenty of suspense and lots of super scenes of magic, combat, and magical combat. The court politics of Troivack are perhaps a little over-the-top in nastiness; the ditto of Daxaria, ditto in silliness. But the relationships and characters established over three long novels pay off well in this installment, with breathtaking plot twists and a satisfying ending that only outstays its welcome a little bit.
This third book in a trilogy of identically titled novels (except for the numerals) is a pleasurable indulgence, full of action, romance and rollicking good fun. I'll put it bluntly: it could have used another pass with an editorial pencil. Not that it's badly written, but another round of polishing might have taken away a couple of grammatical errors, such as "could ofs" and dangling participles, and the occasional clunky sentence that cried out for a rewrite. Delemhach, whoever he, she or they is/are, has some capital ideas on the architectural, or strategic, level of writing but could perhaps stand to take some lowercase, constructive criticism on the level of tactics – like going to the trouble of calling the main character Fin, the redhead and the house witch in alternation, when just calling him Fin most of the time would be so transparently easy. When Fin's feline familiar made a telepathic speech including the words, "I am war, chaos, and seductively fluffy," I threw back my head and howled with laughter. Two pages later, my spirits were dampened by the following sentence:
The magnitude of his losses descended upon him in a sickening realization that began to consume him until he was left with nothing but the helpless action of seizing the grass beneath his hands in clumps – and screaming.Just imagine, that sentence could have read something like "As he realized the magnitude of his losses, all he could do was pull up clumps of grass and scream." Just sayin'.
Definitely a candidate for Adult and Occult Content Advisories, this book concludes the House Witch trilogy by a Canadian author whose follow-up titles include The Burning Witch and The Princess of Potential.