Genre: Dark Fantasy
Series: The Riven Wyrde Saga
Author info: http://www.grahamaustin-king.com/
I received a complimentary copy from the author in return for an honest review. This is the third book of The Riven Wyrde Saga. See my reviews for book 1 and book 2.
This is a spoiler free review and should give a good picture of this book and the whole series, but I highly recommend reading the previous two reviews to get a complete picture.
This book is full of action and thrilling scenes. We get to see the Fae culture and their politics closer, and the Fae character Aerwern takes a bigger part, however the Fae don’t become more human-like and remain as alien as they were in the beginning. This is one of the most impressive things about this book. Fae aren’t just non-human on a cosmetic level, they are strange, dangerous and alien even when you get really close. Even the ‘good’ ones are dangerous and they never let you forget that. Hats off to Austin-King for maintaining the inhuman and enigmatic qualities of the Fae folk.
Selena continues to kick butt and save the day with her incredible wits. She reminded me of Mara from the Empire Trilogy a bit, and quickly became one of my favorite female characters in the fantasy genre. The political intrigue got even more intense and I must say I found those chapters a delight to read as a huge fan of palace intrigue and politics in fantasy. Battle scenes are vivid and well done with amazing details, twists and turns. Both the suspense and action kept me turning the pages into the late hours before sleep.
Erinn is my other favorite character, and I’m a fan of strong female characters whose strength is their intelligence. Erinn is one of those. She makes a huge difference in the battle even though she’s not much of a fighter. I love it when non-warrior characters turn the tide of major wars with their strategy skills and it’s a rather rare thing I read in fantasy books, though there are plenty of examples of it in real history. Yet another reason I love this series. It’s full of fantasy elements and magic, but also very realistic when it comes to the characters and their actions.
The author has done a great job depicting the language barriers, there is no common tongue, people from different cultures rely on translators and have difficulties if they don’t speak the language of the other party ell enough or if the translator is not available. It’s not an easy thing to show it without boring the reader, I must say this book has very realistic scenes of language barrier issues.
Another nice touch is that the whole series starts with Miriam and she takes a big role in the ending, too. The ending is bittersweet, I must say it was well done with such a large cast of characters and so many threads. All in all the whole series was a great read with memorable, realistic characters, dazzling magic and a delightful dark setting.
If you like epic battles, original magic, non-human races who sound very alien, badass female characters, political intrigue, nice worldbuilding with different cultures and languages, seafaring people and maritime scenes, then you will love this series. I think there’s a bit of everything for every fantasy lover. It’s epic fantasy but with a dark and creepy setting, it has gore and violence but it’s not depressing like the typical grimdark literature, there are even some funny moments.