Narrator: Kim Mai Guest
Series: Shattered Realms #4
Published by HarperAudio on March 5, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 21 hours, 21 minutes
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Warrior Alyssa ana’Raisa would do anything to protect her home, the Fells, and her legacy, the Gray Wolf line. But as a prisoner of Empress Celestine, Lyss is forced to turn her fearsome talents as an army commander against her beloved homeland. Refusal would swiftly lead to her death, and her death would end the Gray Wolf line.
In Lyss’s absence, Fellsmarch Castle swarms with intrigue, deception, and a primordial threat. Destin Karn, a southern spymaster with a hidden agenda of his own, might be the queendom’s only hope of defeating the forces aligned against the Seven Realms . . . as well as the enemies within the castle.
Another series in the The Seven Realms is complete and we have fallen in love with another generation of its characters, journeying along with them against foes – both new and old, in their quest to preserve the Gray Wolf Line and way of life in the Fells. I will not add too many details as to not spoil the series.
Deathcaster was good; it had most of the things I hoped for in a final book; the reunions of characters and the culmination of events to vanquish the main Villains to finally bring peace to the Shattered Kingdoms. BUT, for a 600+ page finale I think I expected a little more wrap up at the end or an epilogue set a few years in the future just to give me total closure. Still, it is very implied where things are headed and so I won’t complain too much on that one. I would have probably given this just one more star if I hadn’t read The Crimson Crown, which is one of the best final books a of series I’ve ever read.
There were some very tense and action-packed moments. All the players are very scattered: Lyla and Destin are in the Fells trying to keeps Raisa’s council in check. Lyss is across the sea with Celestine, trying not to become blood sworn and training Celestine’s army to attack the Fells, hoping she can escape or lead then a different way. Hal, wants desperately to find and save Lyss but keeps getting pulled into fighting within his homeland. Hal is trying desperately to find a way to help keep Lyss’s Queendom intact for when she finally returns. Jenna and Caz are also on Celestine’s Island waiting for the perfect moment to ‘Burn the Nest’, teaming up with Lyss and finding some baby Dragons along the way. Evan is still playing the long game with frenemies everywhere, looking for a way to destroy Celestine. And then there is Adrian sul’Han who is both looking for Lyss and Jenna with the help of one of the Magemarked and trying to figure out who is attempting to kill off everyone in their family.
With so many different PoVs and plot lines going, the entire story had a lot of ground to cover to make it to a good conclusion and cover it, it did. I really loved most of this book and some of the reunions were so touching and much needed since we haven’t seen a couple of the characters together since the very first book. I was a little surprised with who was ultimately behind the plot against the Greywolf throne, but it seemed a little fitting. I enjoyed seeing Raisa outsmart her enemies yet again and still be in the background to the new generation.
The plot arc with Celestine fell just a smidge flat for me after all the buildup, but why she was looking for the Magemarked was pretty original and added a lot of tension to the story.
Overall, there are a lot of fantastic things for a YA fantasy novel series conclusion. Yes, the series is a little guilty of some instances of insta-love and few other YA tropes we all know well, but the story works and I love the both the male and female cast are strong and bring different attributes to the story. Not one individual is overpowered or the chosen one, it took a team of players to make everything happen. Plus, there are baby dragons (shhh don’t tell)
“There’s a rumor going around that you died at Delphi but the witch queen brought you back to life because she fell in love with your dead body.”
“What?” Hal stared at him, horrified, while Robert stifled laughter.
“No worries, sir,” LeFevre said hastily. “I don’t think too many believed it.”
“If anything, it enhanced your reputation,” Remy said.
When Evan asked Jenna for advice on how to win Cas over, she rolled her eyes. “You put a collar around his neck, locked him in a dark hold, and carried him across the ocean. Don’t you think that might have been off-putting?”
Evan cast about for excuses. “He was wearing the collar when I bought him in the market.”
“That’s another thing. You don’t ‘buy’ dragons or ‘have’ dragons or ‘tame’ dragons. Dragons are not weapons or airships. They are comrades. You partner with them, you bond with them—or you don’t.”
“He burned my ship,” Evan said. “Doesn’t that make us even?”
“‘Even’ is for enemies and rivals. You’re going to have to give him more than that if you want him to trust you.”
Kia Mia Guest does a pretty good job with the extended cast. There were a few instances where a couple characters sounded a little alike to me but overall with the large cast, she did great with keeping both the narrative and the emotion of the story. I listened to this at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip:
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