“Anoshe – Until Another Day“…
Sigggghhhhhhhhhh! Another epic series, and another heart breaking farewell to some of my favourite characters from a book. This has been added to my all-time favorite series hall of fame shelf, along with the Harry Potter books and The Six of Crows books. I am literally feeling the same sense of loss that I felt when I had to say goodbye to Kaz, Inej, Mathias, Nina, Wylan, and Jesper, Harry, Ron, Hermoine, Luna, Neville, Prof Dumbledore, Prof Snape, and so many more, now that I have to say goodbye to Lila, Kell, Rhy, Alucard, and Holland.
I had started this series last year, and what a journey it has been with these guys. This post is not going to be a review. This post is going to be a dump of my thoughts and will contain many spoilers and lots of swooning from my side. So, before you delve into my thoughts, that is if you have the time and patience to do so, let me just tell you – if you haven’t read the Shades of Magic trilogy, and you are a fan of YA fantasy with epic characters, then please read these books! They are just brilliant! And Delilah Bard!! Swooooon!! I have a girl crush on you 😀
******Major Spoilers Ahead – Read at your own risk!! ******
The last book of the series packs in so much adventure and so much heartbreak, that once I finished reading the book, I was giving it a standing ovation in my mind. The end of an epic adventure could not have been more epic than this. I could not find any faults with any of the books in this series. If I had to, I’d say, why couldn’t there be more books???!!! 😀
The story continues from the grim ending of the Essen Tasch games. Kell has been captured by Holland, who has the evil black king Osaron controlling him. Rhy is dying, again! Lila is going to surprise all by revealing she is the third Antari by traveling to White London to save Kell, and Red London succumbs to the dark magic – leading to chaos, disease and destruction in the once beautiful London. While everyone is trying to salvage whatever they can in whatever way they are able to, the darkness is growing and amidst all this, there are political undercurrents going on as well, amongst the guests from Faro and Vesk, who are all trapped inside the Palace now.
The finale is much longer than the second book. While the first book was all about an adventure, and the second book about introducing Alucard Emery in the story and the scintillating magic games/tournament, the finale, was brutal. It was about friendship, love, loss, strength, lots of endings and a few new beginnings.
What makes me rave about this book and this overall series is not the fantasy part of the stories, the world building or the language, it is the memorable characters and the bond that they share. I have always loved Lila Bard in this series – she is my favourite character. But, in the third book, I also fell in love with Rhy. The one person who didn’t have any magic, in a world where magic is supposed to mean power. And the one person who was stronger for the lack of it. The amount of kindness and courage Rhy shoes in this story, is just commendable. We see the boy Prince rise up to be the King he is supposed to be.
I have to talk about Holland too. I wanted more for him. I know he was one of the villains in the series, but for me, Osaron was the villain. I just couldnt seem to loathe Holland, even though it was because of him that all shit goes down to begin with. But then, the author very cleverly asks us readers, via Kell – was it Kell who started all or was it Holland? And via Lila – hadn’t Lila killed countless men as well? Men, who would have family and friends too, to survive? So how was Lila better than Holland? My heart went out to Holland, as we read his back stories through little snippets. That man had gone through so much, and yet, he fought to right all the wrongs he made. I was heartbroken to see him go in the end. I didn’t want him to go.
I was heartbroken with the many deaths in this story too. There were just too many beloved characters, who finally got a stage to shine, have their backstory, only to be rudely taken away from us. I nearly cried at the deaths of Hastra, Lenos, and Queen Emira. Not so much King Maxim’s since his was a King’s sacrifice out of duty, but still..
I loved the way the author showed unlikely people team up and have each other’s back, overcoming their differences and distrust of each other, to save each other. I loved how Holland saves Lila, and the strong bond of friendship between Lila and Alucard. I loved how tempestuous Lila finds her anchor in Kell, and how tethered Kell, gets a chance to have his own adventure. I loved the relationship that Alucard and Rhy have, and above all, I loved the bond of brotherhood and the relationship between Kell and Rhy.
I liked the pacing of the story too. I know a lot of readers might find the pacing slow, or say, not a lot happened in the finale, and say that we keep reading about everyone’s feelings most of the times. But for me, that was the best part. I don’t like being overtaken by twists after twists. I like some action and I like to get to know my characters. I love books where I remember the characters more than I remember the story. Because, these characters become my invisible friends. Yes, I’m a little mad that way – a lot of Luna Lovegood in me, Id say 😀 The story is important too, and for me the pacing seemed believable.
Sigh, I’m going to miss this series. I know they said Anoshe to me, but I’ll probably go back and read them again, to find them 🙂
Questions to you guys:
If you made it this far, and read through the spoilers and are ready to not kill me, then what were your thoughts on the Shades of Magic series?
Who was your favorite character and favorite ship in this series?