The Last Mortal Bond
Book 3 of the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne
by Brian Staveley
Part of me is at a loss for words as I struggle to describe how fantastic this book (and series) is yet the other part wants to gibber madly in a futile attempt at it. To put it succinctly, this book was excellent!
The story picks up almost a year after The Providence of Fire. So as a reader, there’s a bit of disorientation as we try to understand what all has transpired between books. At first I found it frustrating that so much had been skipped, but I later realized that had Brian tried to fill in that gap with actual story-telling, the final book would have probably been split in two. And honestly, most things that transpired in that period probably would have slowed the overall pace down.
Instead, in just a few short chapters, Brian masterfully tells us what all has transpired in the lives of each character and in the world around them. Some of the backstory was a bit of a shock, others teased at additional, future plot twists, and others took glimmers of hope I had and doused them with cold water. He then spends the rest of the 800+ pages taking us on a rollercoaster of events. Things you had believed to be true become suspect by a single question being asked. Good, heroic characters are morphed into broken, twisted people by a series of inevitable choices, and villians become victims before becoming self-sacrificing heroes.
When their father called them his Blades in his battle against the Csestriim, Valyn, Adare, and Kaden were untempered steel. And in book 1, they were obviously young adults, making young adult decisions. But by the time of book 3, the steel has been tempered. The Blades have been put to use. They’ve been bloodied, broken, mended, sharpened, and used. In the past books, they’ve been wielded by others, but in this book, they each come to a point where they make a decision to wield themselves. I have to say that the character development in this book is absolutely phenomenal. As I look at the arc of each character and see how they have matured and changed, I am simply amazed. These are truly three-dimensional characters. The characters at the end of The Last Mortal Bond are not the same characters from the beginning of The Emperor’s Blades. They’ve grown and adapted, and the voice Brian gives to each of them reflects that!
I will definitely be reading this series again….and probably again after that. It is giving fierce competition for my favorite fantasy series, and for good reason!
( ) definitely won’t read again
( ) might read again
(x) definitely would read again
( ) wouldn’t recommend
( ) might recommend
(x) definitely would recommend