cover image Savage Crowns

Savage Crowns

Matt Wallace. Saga, $18.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-5344-3926-9

Hugo Award winner Wallace’s conclusion to his epic fantasy Savage Rebellion trilogy (after Savage Bounty) is a mixed bag, neatly resolving multiple plotlines but relying on some hand-waving to get there. Readers return to Crache, an ostensible utopian nation, that’s in reality a “dark and brutal” entity. Crache’s secrets were discovered by a trio of capable and fearless women: Evie, a rebel army general; Dyeawan, who’s taken over the cadre covertly controlling the country in hopes of changing it from within; and Lexi, who was killed while advocating for change. Now Evie finds her forces dealing with threats to their rebellion, even after the successful conquest of a major urban center, and Dyeawan makes a foolish move that could cause her death. The two women are on a collision course, which keeps the tension high, but Wallace doesn’t make suspension of disbelief easy; illogical fight scenes—including one in which a character jumps atop a cage hanging from a chain without causing it to sway at all and another that hinges on a convenient deus ex machina—will take readers out of the narrative. Still, die-hard series fans will find this a satisfying conclusion. Agent: DongWon Song, Howard Morhaim Literary. (June)