The final installment in the Shades of Magic series was a pure ride of joy. This might be my favorite book for 2017, considering I enjoyed and loved Six of Crows and Red Rising series just as much. But the characters from this book spoke to me on a whole different level.
Lila and Kell were my favorite characters. Every interaction and dialog they had was amazing. They weren't perfect. Both had their flaws which made them very realistic. Lila didn't want to be bound to any person or place so she always ran. Kell, on the other hand, had the power to be anywhere, in any world, yet he chose to stay by Rhy's side.
Rhy and Kell's relationship was very intriguing. All past stories and the present one. The line “Kell wanted to wring Rhy's neck made me chuckle considering it came during a serious moment. Brotherly banter was good and so was their unconditional love for each other. Even though the king and queen tried hard to make Kell into Rhy's shield and not his brother, it was Kell's love for his brother which saved Rhy.
Alucard was a good addition to have since the second book. Because of him we got a lot of insight into Lila, and I personally liked his interactions with Kell.
Now for the controversial character, Holland, I have only one thing to say, what the hell was that?! I wanted to kill him in the first book but then again none of the things he was doing were his choice consciously. Bound in the first, binding others in the second (yet still bound), redemption in the third by being bound again? There was so much backstory for him. There was more Holland than Kell. Honestly, I felt his story could have ended a bit differently, but I took it as an open ending. The last sentence for White London was “Holland breathed out and the world breathed in.” which I take it meant that White London did somehow maybe heal, a tiny possibility. As all the “The king is coming” could have been foreshadowing that Holland's presence somehow does heal White London.
There were a lot of open endings. We never get an explanation to Ned getting powers as he was nipped by the shadow in the first book, Vitari. And what happens to King George after Osaron invades his mind. Maybe Grey London also gets some of its magic back, but can't say for sure. Or does the insane king end up wreaking havoc?
One thing I can say for certain that I did like was that in the end, Kell was finally able to be free. Even though he was still bound to Rhy, he never thought of it as a burden. And Lila finally becomes the captain of a ship. Rhy becomes the king with Alucard by his side.
So all the characters were able to achieve the things they wanted.
Things specific to this book that I liked:
Lila's fight in the alleyway.Lila's bargain for the inheritor.
The three Antari practicing their magic with the rings.The final battle with Osaron.
How Kell consciously chooses to burn the key for removing the memory charm on himself. Character development. It doesn't matter who he was before coming here, who he is now matters.The author did not always throw the characters motivations in our faces and we had to think like them and decide why they did what they did.
Also a thing I liked about this series, the words always painted a crystal clear picture in my mind. Whether it be fight scenes or still ones, I was never confused with the movements the characters made, or the background setting, the place, the people, the emotions.
Longest book read in 2017 and by far the best one.