3.5 Rounding it up, because of my love for the series as a whole. But I'm really sad to say the second half of this book left me rather disappointed.3.5 Rounding it up, because of my love for the series as a whole. But I'm really sad to say the second half of this book left me rather disappointed. Could be that I hyped this final book up too much for myself, and it was impossible to live up to all my expectations, but some events played out very differently from what I wanted, and not in a good way. Continuing under a spoiler tag, because I talk about some HUGE SPOILERS, so do not click before finishing Kings Rising!!!
(view spoiler)[Things I LOVED: * LAURENT AND DAMEN obviously!! Being honest at last, working through their issues and coming to terms with the past. It was beautifully done.
Some more things I enjoyed: * Nikandros (would have loved to see even more of his relationship with Damen!). * More players introduced from the Akielon camp. * The games. * Getting to see more of the Akielon landscape and Damen's home.
Things I feel so-so about: * Jokaste's redemption arc. Didn't really expect that. * Laurent's POV tbh. It was unneeded as it didn't really add any plus to the story. I get that the author chose to include it to show he isn't the super mastermind that Damen paints him as, and he's only human after all. But I found him more alluring until I got to see into his head. I really could have done without that. * Kastor's death scene. Liked the metaphors and parallels of the scene, but it all ended so abruptly and I thought it was harsh that he got the worst end, when he was just a puppet in the whole game. He had it coming, and he certainly didn't deserve Damen's forgiveness but this scene didn't really work for me as the big climax.
Things I didn't like: * THE TRIAL. And some previous events leading up to it. I expected some big battle, or at the very least Laurent/Damen facing the Regent together and defeating him in some clever way. But instead we get a trial where the Council decides everyone's fate??? REALLY? It all read like fanfiction. What with all the confessions and proofs coming out of nowhere. Why didn't people speak up earlier? Where had been all these proofs buried before? Not really convinced by Laurent not seeing it coming about his uncle either, but I get it's harder to see the truth when one's so emotionally involved, which leads me to... * Damen not figuring out about Laurent/The Regent. Certainly one of my biggest disappointments. There had been so many clues dropped about it even in the previous two books, then some more here, and still he needs it to be spelled out by the Regent. :( I didn't take him to be this dense, and I'm sad about the missed opportunity of Damen figuring it out on his own, and what he would have done with the information. Oh well.
What I HATED: * Not getting to see The Regent's death. COME ON NOW!! The whole series was built up on this, toward this. And all we get is being told what *will* happen to him??? I'm trying to hold off judgement, because I hope we still get to see his end in one of the upcoming short stories, but it's not right not to include this in the final book of the series. * The lack of epilogue. Again, I'm sure we'll get our conclusion from the Damen/Laurent short story, but the epilogue shouldn't have been cut out of the book, just so the publisher can take more money from us. KINGS RISING doesn't feel complete. I couldn't believe when I got to the end, and there was no more. (hide spoiler)]
I'm going to need to do a reread of this, though. I rushed through it so fast that I'm afraid I couldn't appreciate it as much as I should. Who knows, maybe I'll make peace with my dislikes after a second read....more
I can't be the only one who finds both the writing style and storytelling atrocious in this series. Still, it's such a guilty pleasure that I keep comI can't be the only one who finds both the writing style and storytelling atrocious in this series. Still, it's such a guilty pleasure that I keep coming back book after book. I'm coming back for Cleo and Magnus because I don't care the slightest for any of the other POVs. But maybe it's time to stop. I can already see what a big mess the next book will be, based on the cliffhangers: (view spoiler)[So Theon's never-before-heard-of (identical!) twin is back out of the blue, and wants to avenge his brother's death. It's a safe bet he'll also fall in love with Cleo, because why the hell not. Every male character does at one point. While Cleo will be all conflicted because he (or at least his face) reminds her so much of Theon. On top of that, we'll also have Cleo and Magnus guessing they could be half siblings. Oh, joy. (hide spoiler)]