Thursday, April 12, 2018

Book Review: Stormcaster (Shattered Realms #3)

Release Date: April 3, 2018
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 544 pages
Source: Library Audio Book

The third book in the thrilling four-book Shattered Realms series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima

The Empresss in the east—the unspeakably cruel ruler whose power grew in Flamecaster and Shadowcaster—tightens her grip in this chilling third installment in the series.

Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move the ocean and the wind, but his magical abilities seem paltry in comparison to Empress Celestine’s. As Celestine’s bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom of her imminent invasion. If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.

Meanwhile, the queen’s formidable daughter, Princess Alyssa ana’Raisa, is already a prisoner aboard the empress’s ship. Lyss may be the last remaining hope of bringing down the empress from within her own tightly controlled territory.

Multiple intricately interwoven storylines converge in this gripping novel about a brave, coordinated effort to undermine a horrific tyrant.



Characters: I honestly don't know how to write this section because there are just so many characters that this installment focuses on. I mean, I went into this book expecting it to feel like the other installments, a change in focus, this one on Evan Strangward, his story, and what's going on in Carthis, which we sort of get, while possibly getting a few chapters here and there continuing the previous installment and showing what happened to Alyssa after the end of Shadowcaster, which we also sort of get. However, instead, this installment really felt like the first time this series has come into focus as a new generation of heroes banding together to take down a new foe. While I enjoy the first two installments in this series I really fell in love with this series here, this was the first time that I could truly see the focus of this series, which is mostly the amazing and complex characters that fill this amazing world, and while the story might have been spread a bit thin due to how may POVs there are, but honestly I wouldn't have it any other way it really illustrates the scope of this world and this story.

Romances: So, I'm not going to lie to you, there's very little romance in this book, with the romances from the previous books split up for the entire installment we don't get that much development on that front, other than off-handed references and some not so off-handed references here and there, but no real development for the couple. We do have a new POV in this book in the form of Evan Strangward, who is the focus of most of the beginning of this book, and that long beginning does detail a romance that he has, and while it is an adorable romance that I ship to no end, it's not in the book much beyond the beginning and while I understand why that is, as they each have different parts to play in this story, I just wish we could have seen more of them together in this book.

World Building: As I said before, this book was series changing for me, I would say it's mostly because it actually continues the story we know. While the previous installment did continue the story from Flamecaster a bit, Shadowcaster felt more like a companion novel, telling a concurrent story from a different front. This installment, well this installment feels like a mix of those two plotlines with a dash of Carthis and I love it. While there are so many Points of View that sometimes the plotlines can feel a bit spread thin at times, I never felt a lull in the story. I was hooked from the very beginning that the only times I would set this story aside were to make sure I didn't burn through it too fast, which in a way I kind of did as I'm anxiously awaiting the final installment in this series. This book expands the scope of this story so much and finally introduces us to Carthis, the Empire across the sea where a great many mythical creatures are assumed to live, including dragons. It was hard not to be struck with what exploring this world, even more, would be like, I mean, I would be completely down for a series set in this world that takes place completely, or almost completely, in Carthis because I feel there's still so much left to learn and I'm not sure how much will be able to come out in the final installment in this series.

Predictability: So, I'm not sure how to talk about the predictablilty in this installment as, while there are a good number of unpredictable and surprising moments in this installment, I still feel no closer to the answer to two of the biggest mysteries in this series, the first being the origin of those with mage marks, and while it seems that we get some explanation on that, I don't trust the source it comes from, and secondly, who is targeting the royal family, which again I would say we get "closer" to figuring out who it is, but since I'm pretty sure I figured out who it is near the beginning of the previous installment I was kind of hoping that that reveal wouldn't be drawn out. Again, I will say that there are a lot of amazing unpredictable moments in this installment but I felt they all happened at the moment and I didn't really feel a large build-up to anything unexpected.

Ending: So, since there are a few plotlines this book follows there are quite a few final climactic moments and I'll be honest with you, they're all full of tension, including something I thought would never happen in this series, and a particularly bad ass moment by one of my new favorite characters, even if they didn't need to be put in a situation where that badassery was necessary. Anyway, each of these moments is fraught with tension leading to some of the most intense moments in this series. It all leads up to some rather moments where we learn more about not only what just happened, but what will happen as this series heads into its final installment and it ends with one hell of a cliffhanger.


Okay, look, I loved this book, it was nearly impossible to put down and I practically flew through the story. I am so sad that I have to wait for the next installment, and I just pray that it'll be worth the wait!


No comments:

Post a Comment