I am speechless. The best feeling in the world: when one of your most anticipated books of the year exceeds your expectations. Robin did it again and this series holds it's rightful place on my favorite list of all time. I must admit that I wasn’t blown away in the beginning, but that changed soon. While Sybella will always be my favorite, I really liked Annith.
This review is spoiler free for the entire series and book, but if you still want to be careful I will give you one sentence to describe it: This series is the perfect blend of sweet romance, kick-ass yet flawed females, action and history. I know I can’t do this book justice with my words, but I will try.
Annith is an unique nun assassins, because she grew up in the covenant. She has trained all her life and she excels in every training. She is frustrated that everyone is send away on a mission, while she is stuck with guiding new girls. When Annith finds out that the Reverend Mother is planning to make her the new seer, she is tired of being obedient. She leaves the covenant to travel to the abbess in Guérande, but on her road she comes into the presence of Balthazaar and his group of hellequins.
I wasn’t a big fan of Annith in the beginning. I could understand her jealousy, but I was getting tired of her whining. She already showed intelligence, but it was a bit overpowered by her frustrations. It was amazing to see her develop through the story and how she hunts for answers. It's good that she breaks free from her blind faith in the covenant. She turned out to be a wonderful character with her own flaws and strengths. I especially admire the way she dealt with the life-changing information she gets when the abbess finally confesses what is going on.
Her reunion with Sybella and Ismae was wonderful. I love how Robin connected all the stories and that we can see our previous assassins again. These three form a great cast and I can’t get over how perfect this conclusion is to everyone’s story. We finally get all the answers to the Duchess problems and this political/historical aspect has always been something I enjoyed in this series. I’m happy to announce that Robin created a satisfying solution.
The romance is, yet again, a very good part of the book. Robin has a gift for writing balanced stories. It never takes over the plot, but it’s essential for the story and important for Annith’s development. Their mutual feelings are based on respect and friendship. It has enough time to make it feel realistic and it brought a smile to my face. I was surprised by Balthazaar and while it might be a bit cliched, I was very pleased with their happily-ever-after. They aren't my favorite couple in the series, but you can't stop shipping them.
My advice: put everything down, run to the store and grab yourself a copy from Grave Mercy + Dark triumph and devour them before this pretty conclusion is published. You NEED to read this series. You want it in your life, trust me. You can thank me later.
EDIT: This book you guys. It's everything I wished for and even more. It exceeded my high expectations and it's one of the best series conclusions I've read this year - perhaps ever. The way all the stories come together and the combination of the wonderful romance + interesting Annith; it's just perfection.
There was a bit of:
And a little:
Because it's a beautiful conclusion, but at the same time I'm sad it's all over. The best feeling in the world: when a high anticipated book delivers :)
Review will be published closer to publication date....more