cover image The Last Uncharted Sky: Book 3 of the Risen Kingdoms

The Last Uncharted Sky: Book 3 of the Risen Kingdoms

Curtis Craddock. Tor, $29.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8965-7

The triumphant finale to Craddock’s swashbuckling Risen Kingdoms trilogy (after A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery) takes the series to new heights. Musketeer Jean-Claude and sorcerer Isabelle, a newly minted airship captain serving l’Empire Celeste, launch a perilous expedition to the highest point of their world, into the Twilight Latitudes and through the Bittergale. The explorers hope to find a wrecked flagship rumored to contain “the treasure of a century in coin and plunder,” but they also have a less mercenary objective: the foundation of a new colony built on the principles of observation and experiment. Their journey is made more perilous by the results of an experiment done on Isabelle’s brain in a previous book, which left her with “a gibbering mob of other people’s memories” that cause her to hallucinate. The sophisticated, action-packed plot is rendered in vivid prose and enhanced by philosophical and spiritual questions as the richly imagined world wrestles with the concept of a religious savior. Craddock’s superior worldbuilding sweats the small stuff, including juicy details that make this world feel lived-in. This is a spectacular series ender. (Aug.)