This was the final book in the four-book Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series. This was an epic fantasy series that started off with a seemingly-generic storyline, but good writing and interesting characters. However, the story took some interesting turns as the series progressed and it grew increasingly more detailed and complex. Meanwhile, the characters remained interesting and the writing remained strong. The author really did a good job of fleshing out the world he had created.
There were quite a few twists in this final book. Some were things I had suspected might happen, and others took me completely by surprise. There were some dark and/or unexpected turns for some of the characters and not every character I had followed through the series made it to the end. However, it wasn’t the bloodbath I feared it might turn out to be at one point and I was pretty satisfied with where things ended up by the end.
I think my only complaint with this book is with the last couple of chapters. Most of the characters' climatic moments happened at the same time, so a lot of things were happening very quickly and all at once. The author provided fewer details at this point in the book, I guess to make things seem more fast-paced and exciting, and sometimes it wasn’t clear how characters had gotten from point A to point B. There were a couple of times where I had to stop and re-read a section to try to wrap my head around what had happened. I thought that hurt the pacing more than if the author had slowed down a bit and maintained the same level of detail as in the rest of the story. I started to lose my mental picture of what was happening and it felt sort of like watching a TV show with sound only – you can understand what’s happening, for the most part, but you’re missing out on the visual details and clues that let you fully appreciate the story.
Things were still feeling a little ambiguous to me at the end of the last chapter, but there was a nicely-done prologue set a little ways in the future. It briefly revisited all of the remaining characters and cleared up questions about what had happened to them and what they were up to after the events in the series.
I do very little re-reading, because I don’t have enough time to read all of the new things I’m interested in reading as it is. However, if I were inclined to re-read, this is probably a series I would re-read in the near future. The story and the world it’s set in is so full of depth and nuance that I think I would gain an even greater appreciation if I read it again with the full knowledge gained from my first read-through.