Books,  Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge, Book 6 – Hero at the Fall

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I finished the damn series. It stressed me out and I was worried for a good 500 out of the 506 pages but I got through the thing and the sadness I felt when I finished it was real. And weirdly it was only once I had finished this book and was just thinking about the series as a whole, and the end of book two really hit me as everything was tied up in a semi neat bow.

I will say, starting at the end, that I loved the way this series ended. It tied together and went back to this idea of tales being told and stories being the thing that carried legacies. That was something that plays throughout the whole of the trilogy but this was really hammered home in the final chapter of this. It was really cleverly done as there were just so many elements to the final chapter that I couldn’t help but just sit in awe when I had finished the book because the ending was just so damn clever. I wasn’t left jaded by it. I felt throughly satisfied by it.

Which was a total contrast to the book itself which as I mentioned, stressed me out to no end.

The deaths. Oh my gosh the deaths. Characters that I didn’t even think I was all that attached to were suddenly in jeopardy and I didn’t know how to cope with it. I kept just looking up from the pages and staring into space as I tried to process what the hell happened.

What struck me about them the most (the death that is) is that while they did all serve the greater cause of the rebellion they also felt like on some level that they served Amani to make sure that she could do what she needed to do in order to make sure that the rebellion was successful. It was interesting to me because when I started the trilogy Amani was not in a position for people to basically be dying for her to make sure that she could succeed. Nor was she in a position to be able lead them in the absence of both Ahmed and Shazad. And yet, there she was leading them to try and retrieve those that have been taken so far.

Also on this before I move on, it for some reason slipped my mind that Navid would also have been affected by the end of Traitor and then I mourned that whole thing all over again whilst reading (and then a third time when I finished)

Right, moving on, I realised as I moved through this book and there were more and more little third person short stories being dotted throughout the story and because I was left hella jaded by They Both Die that I no longer trust 1st person narratives. And as Amani moved through and there were more obstacles that seemed to be put in her way I just felt more and more like the back end of this book was going to be told in 3rd person.

The way that her relationship with Jin progressed through this story was beautiful. It felt so natural and organic and it reminded me of what I had loved about them in the first book as they had moved through that. That moment when I thought that he was  gone and then remembered that Amani had basically tied herself to him, which I had noticed on some level when I was reading it but was focused on what was actually going on in that scene of the book and not the fact that Amani had basically married him, was super stressful. Made all the more stressful by the fact that my train journey had chosen that point to then come to an end and so I had to stop reading and just wait for 8/9 hour before I could continue with.

That whole scene that lead up to that was so well written had such a great build up and really highlighted just how powerful the Djinn were and the ways in which they used that power. The way that the Djinn were written and the way their story arced and how it impacted the Rebellion and Ahmed was one of my favourite parts of the whole story. It never felt like an info dump and they were kind of talked about in that voice of stories, I guess because to Amani they kind of always were even when they became real to her.

The thing that really epitomised that was the introduction of The Sin Maker. He reminded me a little bit of Loki in that he was so much like a trickster and continued to be one throughout. He really threw a spanner in the works and made the lead up to the war that was building even more complicated. I both love and hated it. I loved it because it raised the stakes and made things even more interesting, if not also significantly more stressful. And I loved it because it really highlighted just how conflicted Amani was as a character whether she was conscious of it or not. She was selfish but this proved that that wasn’t always a bad thing, but it had the potential to be a dangerous thing. It also almost cost Amani things multiple times. I including her life. Which was why I also hated it. It made for good storytelling but my stress levels were not okay hon.

But I ended up okay because Amani’s father provided in a big way and it was so nice to find out what her mother’s wish had been.

The actual battle itself felt a tad underwhelming,  I dunno I think because the build up lasted 3 books basically and the second one took place in such close quarters to where the Sultan was and you got so much access to it and then it was just kind of over in about 5 pages because Amani is a good shot. It’s not that that was a bad thing or anything, it’s just that it started and then ended just as quickly.

Things I also enjoyed that I have to mention, but I am aware that this has gone on for over 1,000 words now and I could honestly just keep on going and not even be bothered but it would be lengthy, the relationship between Amani and Shazad remains my ultimate fave and, also didn’t realise until I was reading it and as I realised that it would be anything but practical, but I could quite happily read a whole thing about Shazad and Jin’s relationship. Also I enjoyed Amani and Ahmed’s relationship, the way that it was kind of quiet but also quite impactful in the grand scheme of things and again how it was a friendship that couldn’t have been what it was in this book at the beginning. Not even close. Amani really grew into herself throughout the books and it was a quiet kind of change but it was an immense one nonetheless.

I’m, thankfully, not quite done with this world yet and still have some short stories that I got in my goodie bag at the book launch so I can still hold onto this in some way. Because I love this world that was created. A lot. And I’m not fully ready to leave it behind completely, even though for the most part, I have said goodbye to.

I would recommend this trilogy so hard. It’s got everything that you could ask for and more in terms of action, love, adventure and great characters that only get better and better. It will also break your heart. In waves. But it’s so worth it.

4/5 stars

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

 

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