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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Review: Crown of Cinders (Imdalind #7)

Release Date: November 25, 2016
Author: Rebecca Ethington
Publisher: Imdalind Press
Length: 366 pages
Source: Review Copy from the Author

The Internationally Best-Selling Imdalind Series comes to a close in this long awaited heart-pounding conclusion.

For centuries the war that has raged within magic has ripped the world apart. Fought between Skȓítek and Trpaslík; killing father and son, and destroying a fragile balance between mortal and magic.

For centuries everyone has been awaiting the Silnỳ, searching for the girl who was prophesized. The girl with power strong enough to defeat the evil that plagued the world, and bring the war to an end.

For centuries, everyone was wrong.

The Silnỳ was not what they had been told, the promises of future distorted by a sight that was tarnished. The evil was not what they had expected, not what they had been fighting against. Instead, it was hidden amongst them; plotting, waiting for their time to strike.

And it did. With fire and blade the hidden evil took its place upon a throne of blood. The evil has shown itself and now only one person can save them all.

But with Sights that are no longer infallible and armies that are abandoning their king – it is no longer clear who that person is, or even if they have the courage to stand up to the evil and face their end.

  

Review:

Characters: This series that began with only Joclyn as its narrator has grown and ballooned into this fantastic multi-narrated epic. I'm trying to find a way to fully articulate how phenomenal each point of view is. This author doesn't hold back and gives her readers an inside look into all the key players of this series. Even if there's a character that doesn't get a POV chapter, you still get a fantastic and comprehensive look into their personality and character from multiple other points of view. I really don't want to go into specific storylines, since I'm afraid if I start talking I'll accidently spoil something, but what I will say is that when I first picked up this series I did not see it ending up here, these characters have grown and changed so much since when they first were introduced and certain characters have had their true colors finally revealed and thrown my entire view of this story out of whack. Now it's finally come to a close and I can still say that this author still delivers some of the most layered and complicated characters I've ever read.

Romance: So honestly while there is still a good amount of romance in this book, some of which is actually integral to the overall plot, I was still conflicted on whether or not I should even include this section. Joclyn and Ilyan are a great couple, but once couples reach a certain point, at least to me, they start to get boring. I still love the way these two characters offset and compliment each other, but when there aren't exciting and bold new developments to go through it's hard to still be invested. Ryland's romance does play a rather large role in the story and where he ends up, I don't want to say too much because of spoilers, but it's an interesting storyline, to say the least. Of course, there's still the issue of Thom's coma and Wyn doing anything she can to find a way to break it, but I feel if I talk any more about that it's going into a spoilery place too. Let's just say that there is romance in this book, the tried and true stuff is still as strong as it was before and the new or renewed stuff is actually pretty compelling and I was very satisfied by it.

World-Building: You would think that after six books of intense world building and twists that almost redefine what this world is that this author would just sit back and play with her world instead of introducing new stuff. That being said, I'm happy she keeps building this world. Now, the revelations in this world aren't quite as exciting as some of the things we learned in Dawn of Ash, but they're just as twisted and maybe even more awesome. In addition to new revelations in this world, we also get to see more of it. This series namesake is the birthplace of all its magic. The wells of Imdalind, and while I believe we've seen part of Imdalind before, there's something that we never got to see, something that is, let's just say, jaw-dropping.

Predictability: This is an author that does not play by the rules. I've said this before in my reviews of previous installments in this series, but most series follow a basic formula. It's something that gives the reader a bit of insurance that everything will turn out okay, and usually, by the final book, you have a good idea of where all the characters will end up. Rebecca doesn't follow formulas like that, and because of that you never truly know what's going to happen. That sort of anarchic writing leads to some fantastic, if not utterly heart crushing twists that you'll never see coming. Sometimes it means that really fantastic and unimaginable things can happen. There is still some element of foreshadowing so you aren't making your way through completely blind, but there were a few times when I needed to take a break because of certain things that happened (it took me nearly a month to finish this book.)

Ending: The ending to this book what indescribable. The "final battle" was not what I expected at all, mostly because it wasn't one battle. Without spoiling too much, and hopefully nothing important, I will say that each major character had a trial or demon that they had to face and seeing that happen over the last chapters of this book was incredible. There was a great amount of action, world-shattering revelations, and heart melting moments. Then came the final chapter, which is an epilogue of sorts. My main problem with this is that between the final two chapters there seems to be a disconnect, and granted I read the ending on the ARC that the author provided me so maybe something changed in the final draft, but I felt like I was missing a chunk. There was a lot that had to be inferred and while some of it was easy some of it just felt more confusing. Then there was the thing at the end that while I'm sure I have some basic understanding of what happened, some more concrete confirmation would have been nice.

Rating:


As series finales go, this one did not disappoint. Other than a disconnected epilogue, which by itself was mostly marvelous, I have no complaints about this finale. This author made bold and exciting moves in this final installment and when I was reading I was incredibly engrossed in the story.

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