Bouchet’s relentlessly intense conclusion to her Kingmaker Chronicles trilogy (after A Breath of Fire) goes unabashedly big with a plot involving the fate of the world of Thalyria and the direct involvement of the Greek pantheon, but its best moments deal with one-on-one conflict. Fans will swoon for the escalation of mutual devotion between Catalia—a powerful Magoi of the bloodline of Titans and Olympians, central to “a Power Bid that could reunite the realms,” and now also “the personification and spirit of hope”—and “domineering... overprotective... and deliciously jealous” warlord Griffin. Their romance justifies the divine orchestration of their match and amplifies their possessiveness-fueled sexual heat. Family is a primary theme: Griffin’s army’s importance wanes as Cat’s sadistic mother rises as a formidable enemy, using mind control and psychological torture as her most powerful tools, and Griffin’s protectiveness surges as Cat’s pregnancy with “Little Bean,” their already-powerful daughter, increases the risk of personal loss. A notable lack of practical governing detail may frustrate fans of fantasy politics, but Bouchet’s series ends strongly with a hopeful vision of leadership balanced with divinity and humanity. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/13/2017 Release date: 01/02/2018 Genre: Fiction
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