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.
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These sound so interesting. Great review. I will probably need to try them but my TBR is so full right now.
It only gets fuller. CWC totalle writes great YA fantasies. I’ve enjoyed all of her books.
Wow! That’s a big grand finale. 🙂 But, glad it wrapped things up well even if you wanted a bit more at the very end.
Yeah, I almost always want more when I’ve invested around 2100 pages into a series. I need an epilogue with everyone happy, fat and lazy with all the loved ones around. Still it ended well.
Tthat’s great! Now I wonder if I know about this series. I’ll check book 1!
Flamecaster was great and now you don’t have the pain of waiting years to finish the series 😛 Perfect time to jump in
This does sound like something that I would enjoy. I’m always a bit hesitant to try YA, but I do tend to do better with fantasy and sci-fi for YA, so that helps. Great review.
Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart
I don’t read nearly the amount of YA as I used to, but there are a few authors that deliver strong stories that I still buy in this genre and Cinda Williams Chima is one of them.
Wow. A huge final book in the series. I’m glad you enjoyed the series. I get what you mean about a bit more of an ending. I sometimes keep thinking after a book ends. Kind of wishing the author had given me that final glimpse to the future.
It really just depends on the book. Sometimes I like when they leave it open for me to fill in the blanks. But most of the time I really want that nice epilogue at the end. Still this is a little of both.
Great review! I have heard so many good things about Cinda Williams Chima’s books, but I’ve never read them. Where is the best place to start?
Lark, I really enjoy her writing. I would honestly start with the Demon King in the Seven Realms Series. That is just one of my all time favorite YA Fantasy Series and every book in it got better. The Demon King was decent but I think I only gave it 3.5 stars, however everything just goes up from there.
You can start with Flamecaster in this series easy enough, but then I think you miss out on some of the magic if you haven’t read the Prequel Series.
I am not familiar with this series but chances are that if you like it, I probably would as well. This sounds like a decent wrap up to the series even if you didn’t get everything you would have liked.
Definitely a really good final book to a well rounded series.
Love this cover and think I might have to get this one.