The stunning finale of the epic fantasy duology from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis.
Alchemy student turned necromancer Nedra Brysstain has made a life-changing decision to embrace the darkness--but can the boy who loves her bring her back to the light before she pays the ultimate price?
Lunar Island is trying to heal. The necromantic plague that ravaged the land has been eradicated, and Emperor Auguste, the young and charming leader of the Allyrian Empire, has a plan: rid the island of necromancy once and for all. Though Greggori "Grey" Astor wants what's best for his people, he knows that allying himself with Auguste threatens the one person he loves most: necromancer Nedra Brysstain. Feeling like he already failed to save Nedra once, Grey becomes determined to help the Emperor rebuild Lunar Island while still keeping Nedra safe from harm.
Back at the quarantine hospital, Nedra's army of revenants are growing increasingly inhuman by the day. Wracked with guilt for imprisoning their souls, Nedra vows to discover a way to free the dead while still keeping her sister by her side.
But, still reeling from the trauma of the plague, the people of Lunar Island are looking for someone to blame, and Grey can only protect Nedra for so long. And when Nedra and Grey are thrust into a battle with an even more terrifying adversary, Nedra will be pushed to the darkest depths of her necromantic powers. But can Grey let her go that far?
Beth Revis writes books. She also eats too much chocolate, wishes she could travel more, and prefers puppies to people. Beth lives in rural NC with her boys: one husband, one son, two very large puppies.
Do you ever read a really really excellent book, and then read the sequel, and enjoy it fine but realize that you only enjoyed it because you’re invested in the characters and nothing really interesting happened with them? Same.
This book was not bad. I like the commentary on capitalism vs. tradition. The ending of this was genuinely really good, with a great twist I didn’t see coming.
However, I honestly think a lot of this story felt fairly rushed. Instead of making a new story, it rides off the energy of book one, which I found disappointing. Rather than explicitly dealing with the fallout of book one’s events, the book does very little, staying low on action until the very end. Grey’s storyline has more drama to it, primarily dealing with capitalist society. I still think Grey just isn’t nearly as interesting a character as Nedra, and their relationship storyline essentially playing out in repeat in the first half of this book did not help.
Nedra, by the way, feels really stagnant in comparison to book one. We know she wants to keep her sister alive, we know she feels alone, but what kind of growth will she undergo? I felt I wanted more from her.
I also think a lot of this book — and here I’m trying to be vague — depends on the reader feeling invested in Nedra’s hometown in the North. It is not at all that I don’t feel for her in this respect; on an objective level, what is happening to Nedra’s home is awful, and the parallels to real-world colonialism are clear and vital to the story. But in a story so dependent on us believing in her home existing, I craved a few developed side characters from Nedra’s home, and maybe more details on its operation and history.
Bid My Soul Farewell offers an excellent ending and a good story on the whole, but the way it is conveyed feels rushed and unimpactful. I think with another editing round this could’ve been one of my favorite duologies of all time.
Where did we go? Where did we go from a story involving alchemy, the horrors of necromancy and death, to a story that had the life sucked out of it? Bid My Soul Farewell read like a different story compared to the first book. With this being a duology, I'd imagined the story having a good conclusion while answering some questions that were leftover in the first book. It's complicated, really.
Give the Dark My Love may have been a mixed bag for me, but I had hoped that Bid My Soul Farewell would remedy the flaws of the first book. Instead, it only made things rushed and even more dull than in the first book. I never knew that was possible.
Where I think Bid My Soul Farewell suffers are from the story structure, character development, romance, and the ending. Flaws that are similar to the ones I had with the first book.
Again, the story structure was all over the place with the switching POV and while Nedra and Grey had similar interests, they each had their own goals. Goals that often clashed against each other, leaving the story feeling like there are two different plotlines rather than complimenting each other.
Nedra's and Grey's character development remained somewhat the same. But I will say that I liked Nedra more here than I did Grey because she now has a goal that fits the theme of the books. Grey, like Nedra, has a new goal but he was not as interesting as Nedra. They both got some growth, but not a lot.
The biggest complaint I have with this series as a whole is the romance. I'm not a fan of unnecessary romance that either does not fit with the story or if it's lacking. I can like romance if the characters fit well together and the sparks are there. Nedra or Grey, on the other hand, don't feel like a couple. They rushed into it in the first book and here it didn't fit the overall plot and if I'm being honest, bad.
The ending itself was rushed. This being shorter than Give the Dark My Love, I knew that some things will be rushed. Even the ending. So I wasn't that irritated by the ending, but it was rushed.
Not everything was negative. What I think Beth Revis does best is her description of body horror and Nedra's inner monologue. This duology does not shy away from the morbid themes of death. There was this one particular part where it's very descriptive and I could see it in my mind and I was creeped out by it.
As a whole, Bid My Soul Farewell was a disappointing sequel and conclusion to the duology. Which is a shame because I could the potential each book has.
After the somewhat abrupt ending in the previous book, I was happy that I didn’t have to wait to get into this one.
I really love Nedra. She’s so loyal and loving and determined. I did enjoy getting to know Grey better. It felt like he was more of a rounded character this time around.
Plot wise, it was a bit slow, but I loved it. Getting Nedra and Grey off the island was intriguing and for me, gave a layer of suspense because I expected everyone to be revealed as a necromancer. I enjoyed the build up and reveal and would have liked just a little more from the epilogue.
Overall, this was exactly what I was looking for and I still maintain that past Stacee needs to be shoved for not reading these books sooner.
**Huge thanks to Razorbill for providing the arc free of charge**
I'm not going to lie, I was surprised as hell by how much I loved Give the Dark My Love. So needless to say, I could not wait to get my hands on the sequel. And I finally did!!
There will probably be spoilers of the first book, so be warned if you haven't read it. Nedra is still reeling from the loss of her family and can only find comfort among her dead. Meanwhile, Grey is working under the Emperor to make Lunar Island a better place and to also keep his eye away from Nedra. But what seems like a cut and dry mission turns into a betrayal of the highest degree.
I will say I did like the first one better but only by a smidge. Mostly I disagreed with the ending. I felt it a little too happy for the scenario presented but I can see why Revis ended it the way she did. And man, this duology was a rollercoaster. There were moments in this book where both characters showed extreme vulnerability in light of the events surrounding them. I loved these glimpses into both Nedra and Grey. It reminds the readers of what this book series is about - what would you do for love?
There were a lot of ups and downs in this one. But I enjoyed the way the author portrayed Nedra's seduction to the darkness. The sway of power is something that's hard for anyone to ignore, but when the darkness promises relief and saving loved ones, it's not hard to see why Nedra is tempted. Her pain is so loud and Grey is the only one who hears her. But Nedra doesn't trust herself so she doesn't trust anyone else. I loved watching Grey try to get through to her and the inner battle that Nedra suffered. Just a great duology and I'm so happy to have read it!
Once again, I'm left feeling like I wish I loved this more than I did.
Was that all it took to make a monster? A label and the accusations of others?
After the events of book one, Nedra has become a necromancer, has crossed the line into darkness and treason, because of the devastation wrought by the plague and the necromancer who set it in motion, who had conspired to rule over all. She might have ended the plague but she still lost everything; which means she’ll do anything she can to hold on to what little remains.. or do whatever it takes to bring it back.
What I liked most about this finale was that Revis did a very good job of showing how, just because the danger has passed, it doesn't mean everything goes back to normal. The politics took centre stage in this instalment, the unhappiness of the people, the manipulations of the Emperor, the murmurings of rebellion. We see this mostly through Grey's eyes as he tries to navigate his strange new favour with the Emperor as he's sent around the island to try and negotiate a trade deal to better the island's economy, to help right the wrongs done to the northerners, so long ignored by the colony's seat of power. Nedra goes with him, hoping to find more books, more information, on necromancy and how she might truly save a soul.
But Grey is just a puppet. What's less obvious, though, is so is Nedra.
To be honest, I'm not sure what the point of this travel really was. Ultimately throughout the whole time, we get only two moments where things really feel relevant to the bigger picture. And instead it's mostly a way to reconnect these two characters, try and reinforce the romance, as they navigate whether they can be in love while still having extremely opposing beliefs that dictate their choices. Despite the fact that this romance never worked for me, not even in this book, I appreciated these kinds of conversations as well as the acknowledgement of how love isn’t blind.
Was that all it took to make a monster? A label and the accusations of others?
That said, I'll admit I had my suspicions about how things would come to a head.. and I wasn't wrong. Infact I figured out the twist to the climax in book one, too. And even with my theory proven right, I enjoyed the last 20% probably the most. Not quite sure how I felt about the epilogue, though I know it's deserved, but I did like the final showdown. There was definitely less of an emotional kick to this one and I don’t know if that was because Grey had more or a role or what, but, unfortunately he was the weak link that was made weaker because of how little his impact actually was. He was just kinda there or in the way.
Revis’ writing is smooth, her narrative tackling many things that echo in our own world, regarding politics and belief, religion and grief. I do wonder if things got a little too big, too busy, and that's where some of this didn't land for me. At least beyond the failure of the romance. But there was a lot of good here.
I was already a fan of the author because of her Across the Universe series and while I didn’t rate these very high, and won’t reread them, I’ll definitely continue to pick up whatever the author puts out.
** I received a ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Bid My Soul Farewell was exactly the sequel I wanted for Give the Dark My Love.
I liked how even though the first book felt like a satisfactory ending and a completed story arc, there was enough room in the sequel to tie a lot of things back to the first book, so even though the first book wasn’t cut off mid-story or cliffhanger-y, it still felt like it built itself off the premise of the first one, and I really enjoyed that.
Nedra and Grey had great chemistry, but my god all they did was argue, so I don’t exactly ship them. It’s not romantic to always argue with your lover. I think in my review of Give the Dark My Love, I said their chemistry was lacking, but it’s the romantic aspect of their chemistry that was alcking. Their relationship was certainly volatile.
How do you move on after a tragedy? Grey and Nedra are both trying to fix the world, but in very different ways. This caused them to clash about things that are fundamental beliefs, and that’s not something you can just overcome. It wasn’t crappy communication, it was that one of them believed certain actions made a person a monster, and the other didn’t. I’m still not certain on where I stand on that issue, so I can understand this conflict.
Nedra continued to demonstrate what a complete badass she was. I kept screaming “Nedra, no!” as she progressed through more and more desperate, calculated measures to get what she wanted. I loved that she moved more and more into darkness, but it was from a place of goodness. She wasn’t evil, she was just desperate, and smart and stubborn enough to keep trying.
I did like how Grey’s voice was referred to as ‘pompous’ by another character, because that’s exactly how I felt about the audiobook narrator. Grey did improve in this book, still remaining the same ‘don’t rock the boat’ guy he was in the first, but driven by a genuine want to help others. I loved his relationship with the young Emperor and his meteoric rise to a position of power, and his struggle with his parents. I felt that Grey, although not entirely likeable (for me), was a great character and a fantastic foil to Nedra.
I didn’t see the twist ending coming. I should have, but I was too busy enjoying the story to really think about the few references and hints offered up to lead me towards that prediction.
Overall this was a fantasy duology and highly recommended to lovers of dark fantasy and seeing someone inherently good struggle with doing the wrong thing for a good cause.
Nedra Brysstain has passed the moral limits set by her society. She's descended into the dark and brought not only her sister, but a whole army of dead back through Necromancy. Nessie, her sister, still remains a shell and Nedra doesn't know how to help her sister, but she's determined to find a way even if it means sacrificing her soul. Meanwhile, Grey is trying to find a way to help Nedra and the North through more legal means.
This duology was amazing. I loved every second of it. Seeing Nedra being portrayed as a villain while only trying to do what's best for her island was such a captivating journey. Every time Nedra would investigate her new necromantic powers, I was enthralled. She had such a scientific approach and I need more science girls in my life! Nedra is definitely not afraid to make the hard sacrifices.
I've liked Grey from the beginning, but he really stepped up to the plate in this conclusion. I loved how he constantly defended Nedra, even when he wasn't sure of her motives. He never failed to believe she was a good person. Grey also had to learn some pretty tough lessons about politics and seeing him being humbled was quite a scene.
Nedra and Grey have some of my favorite banter. Especially, with the amazing one liners Nedra is always slinging. Their relationship was one of the things that gave me hope throughout this installment. Even when Nedra was considering sacrificing her soul through some sort of black magic, I knew Grey and her sister would be able to pull her back from that precipice.
By 75%, I really thought I had this book and the plotline all figured out. But oh boy was I wrong! I loved the last plot twist at the end. The possibility of it never occurred to me. But it worked so well with the series arc! We also learn so much more about necromancy in this book and I couldn't be happier.
All in all, a fantastic sequel and amazing conclusion to this duology/
*Source* Library *Genre* Young Adult, Dark Fantasy *Rating* 3.5
Bid My Soul Farewell, by author Beth Revis, is the final installment in the authors Give the Dark My Love duology. The story picks up right where book one left off. The story actually alternates between Nedra Brysstain, and Grey Astor. In the previous installment, Nedra saved the emperor from captivity and found the necromancer who started the plague and doled out justice. But in the process, Nedra solidified herself as a necromancer, a practice punishable by hanging. People are absolutely terrified of her believing the past has come back to haunt them.
I thought this series would go out with a bang, but it was more like a whimper. I would still recommend reading this book because it ties everything up nicely and has a happy ending for the MC Nedra. I'm just a little disappointed since I had really high hopes, and was looking forward to an action packed conclusion.
Give the Dark My Love, #1 ★★★★☆ Bid My Soul Farewell, #2 ★★★☆☆
After the events of Give the Dark My Love, I really wasn’t sure where Beth Revis was going to take the story next. But Bid My Soul Farewell was the absolutely perfect conclusion to this story, I loved the journey that Nedra went on in this book. And how Grey developed as a character.
This story expanded the world in scope and showed us more of the empire (which is fascinating!). The theory behind necromancy is delved into more and there are some fascinating ethical conundrums raised.
I really loved how this book reveled in the shades of gray, examining what acts are monstrous and which are human. And how Revis examined grief and how far people are willing to go for those they love.
If you’re looking for a darker YA fantasy, definitely consider picking this one up!
*Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The second book started with the protagonist after she crossed over to the dark side of necromancy. Her powers exploded with this revelation and continued to blossom with new discoveries.
Although the magic system is not very complex, it is still very enjoyable to read.
The story burns with darkness. On the surface, there are vivid descriptions of pain, suffering, and death that are associated with the plague. Certain parts of the book highlight the political oppression that happens when greed poisons power. And lastly, the forbidden magic of necromancy constructs a world of bone-chilling reality.
While the first book felt like a chase, this one was more of a wandering. The main character wandered around discovering her powers, not really driven by fear, not compelled by power. She leads the group of people that she brought back from the dead and the undead has no purpose either.
The beginning felt like an introspection on the meaning of being alive. There is a stark contrast between the warmth of her past life with her family and the cool apathy of her undead brethren. The is a contrast between what she wants to have and what she must do that is right. She is the bridge that connects the two worlds, the touchstone of right and wrong.
I have to say, this book is so dark that it would have been very uncomfortable if I read it before or during the covid pandemic. Now that covid is on the back burner and most places are focusing on economic recovery, it was a relief to know how easy we have had it all in our day and age. It could have been a lot worse without advanced technology and science.
Grandissima delusione, again. Tutti gli aspetti positivi del primo libro vanno completamente a puttane e ci ritroviamo con la solita protagonista che pensa solo al romance e tutti i problemi della storia vengono risolti in un capitolo con un finale scontato e banale. Peccato.
This final book fully messed with my mind. And it was every bit as good as I had hoped it would be. But it also ruined my heart, just as much as I had feared it would. I liked the ending a whole lot. Though I wish it had been a little longer, haha. I really would not have minded a third book. I always want more of what I love.
But this book did not need more. Because it was perfect just the way it was. Fully evil and rude. But so very amazing as well. I so loved every moment of this. Even the moments that made me all kinds of angry at the characters, haha. They were so flawed. But so perfect to me, because of this. I loved both of them to pieces.
There is so much I could share about this book. But I will try not to write too much about it.This book takes place moments after the ending of Give the Dark My Love. Meaning that there will be spoilers about book one. Which you all should have read by now anyway. If not, go read it. Right away. I very much loved that this book did not skip any time. I so liked that it started right after the first book ended. Nedra is alone at the quarantine hospital. With the dead she raised for company. Grey is with the Emperor, staying up at the castle, after his parents fled their home. They are apart, but not for long. Nedra and Grey end up going on a small journey together to the mainland. Which was all kinds of exciting but sad too. I loved it. It was a fun adventure to read about.
There is so much going on in this book. I shall not write too much about it. But gosh. There was so much to get to know. We learn more about the necromancer part of Nedra. About what happen to the dead she raises. About their souls and so much more. It was so sad to read about at times. But so very good too. A little creepy, a little scary. But fully exciting. Reading more about Nedra hurt my heart. But I loved this girl the very most. She has lost so much. Her family. Her home. But she is still alive, despite the pain. Fierce.
And she has her sister with her. Well, her dead body, with her soul trapped in her crucible. And Nedra would do anything to save her sister, to save her soul, to have more time with her. Because her body is there, but empty. Reading about all of the things Nedra did to figure out a way to save her sister was so good. All kinds of sad but good. Nedra was pretty dark. A whole lot of broken. Yet I adored every part of her. She was not truly that bad. She only wanted her sister back. So yeah. I adored every part of Nedra.
Then there was Grey. He was so complicated in this book too. Fully ignorant about how politics around him worked. How he was being used by others. He felt things so very much. He was wrong a lot of times, but I honestly did not think he was wrong about Nedra and her being a necromancer. Because that was all kinds of scary. They had such different opinions. And reading about them somewhat working through it all was so good. Grey was a little dumb at times but gosh how badly I adored him. Sigh. Could not help it.
This book is all about Nedra and Grey. About her dealing with the people she raised from the dead. About them dealing with their feelings for each other and how to live with each other while being so different. Yet they have the same type of heart. Sigh. It tells more about the Emperor and the place they live in. We get to read a little about places away from their island, which was also great. A few new characters too, which were interesting to read about. But this story was mostly about Nedra and Grey. Which I loved very much.
Grey and Nedra are so difficult in this book. I ship them so very much. As they are adorable together. But my gosh, they are such different people. They argue all the time. Grey is very much against Nedra being a necromancer. He does not think it is right. And she is very much for it. So they have some arguments about it. Some big ones, some small ones. But all of this simply made me love them together even more. Because despite their issues they still love each other very much. Sigh. And their love was the very best.
This book told an ending to the story of Nedra the necromancer. And it was an ending that fit this story very well. Nedra was such a complex person. I adored her to pieces. And reading about her was the very best. Her love for her dead sister pretty much ruined me, though. She would do anything to bring Nessie back to her. To bring her soul back to her dead body. We learn so much about everything with that. And it was so very exciting to read about. Nedra goes through so much. I loved her even more because of this.
Bid My Soul Farewell was just the kind of finale I wanted. It was full of danger and romance and a great story. I adored Nedra and Grey so much and I loved getting to know how their story ended. This whole necromancy thing was all kinds of creepy yet so very interesting. I enjoyed every part of this book. And I am so glad that Beth wrote these books. They are heartbreaking at times. But so worth it too. Though, to be honest, I wish this second book had been even longer. It feels like there was more I needed to know.
But I am also okay with not knowing everything. I think. Because this book was all kinds of beautiful and tragic too. It hurt my heart. It hurt my soul. But it healed it too, in a way. Because of how Nedra changed in this book. How she slowly healed herself. Was so good to read about. I was lucky enough to be able to trade for a gorgeous print ARC of this book to read a little early and to add to my most stunning collection of books by Beth. She is such an awesome author and person. You all must read these books right away.
After Nedra defeats the necromancer-introduced plague, she doesn't let go of her undead army, instead retreating back to the hospital as a home base, while she tries to find a way to bring her sister back. Binding her soul back to her sister's body becomes her primary objective, and though she feels for the other undead, and keeps them to give them more time with their family, they are also her protection against the expected attacks from the Empire. Meanwhile, the people of Lunar Island, exhausted from the plague and under the Emperor's direct rule again, have to rebuild, and Grey thinks that helping Auguste revive the economy would be the way to make a difference in the long term. Additionally, he also hopes by helping and earning the Emperor's goodwill, he will be able to save Nedra from being punished for practicing necromancy, which is a capital crime.
The overall feel of the book doesn't lend itself to a story in by itself - it feels like an extension of the ending of the previous one. While we get Nedra and Grey traveling to the mainland together for their own respective missions, it didn't feel like that subplot stood on its own. Nedra's attempts to get more necromancy books ties in with the resistance, but even the latter are barely a footnote in the plot, and mainly serve to tie up the ending somewhat. Similarly, Grey's efforts to establish trade for the North feel hollow by the end, when things change drastically. So in terms of world-building, the novel didn't offer much even though we get to see more of the world.
Where this book excelled, though, was in exploring Nedra's story arc again. She has a complicated relationship with Grey because of the necromancy thing standing between them, and here they also have some progress in their relationship and conflict arising from it. Nedra's other relationship - the one with her sister - gets its due with this book; she has a hard time letting go of her sister's death, and her attempts to save her and make her like before is such an intense driving force for her story, giving her arc that of an anti-hero. There is one moment where she thinks she can let go, and I feel that point of the story was done so well in exploring how she was burdened by the weight of so many souls on her. She isn't really involved in the politics of the world, but helplessly tied into it because of her necromancy, and it was fascinating to have a character arc that is so indirectly tied into the world yet so directly affected by it. Grey's storyline, once again, doesn't impress much, but his PoV does give a bit more insight this time around, so it was justified to have him be the other main character.
So, while I found the world lacking in this novel, I did feel that Nedra's character arc got a good storyline and a conclusion that was satisfactory.
To be honest, Give the dark my love could have been a remarkable stand-alone but Revis delves further in the gory depths of necromancy, political strifes and conflicted relationship of the main characters. Satisfactory end to the duology.
I felt the story dragged a bit in the middle, but all was worth it for that ending!!! I adored Nedra: she was incredibly strong-willed and bad ass and ugh I love her so much. Probably my favorite protagonist (maybe a little antagonist 😉) in YA by far.
This series had sooooo much potential. I wished that Bid My Soul Farewell had focused more on the necromancy acorrding to this world, good girl turned bad trope, and the interesting political environment/climate than with all of the romance bits and Grey pining for Nedra. Overall the first book was stronger but this was still alright.
Ugh! This series had so much promise, but it failed to meet expectations. It's easy to blame the author for the novel's shortcomings, but it's unfair to heap all my vitriol on her doorstep. I've seen the changes in the YA publishing landscape most markedly in the style/content of the books. Quartets were once the norm, but soon that became trilogies, and now quartets. With the sweeping scale of YA series, it's so hard to fit everything into two 350-page books, and I have a hunch that whatever cool concepts Ms. Revis had for her story likely got excised to fit the page limit. Editors don't just clean up stories-they remake them, and I want to believe that the editors who remade the story did both Ms. Revis and the readers a grave injustice. Things were set up decently well in the first book, only to be ruined by the rushed pace in this second book.
Nedra's motivation is a little too simplistic, and that kept bothering me throughout the story. Try as I might, I don't find it relatable that she would go through such lengths for her sister. Things are never that black-and-white. I'm sure as shit that Nedra wants power because it feels good. Yes, I understand that villainy is complex, but her desire to save the souls of others is only thrown into the story when convenient, as to drive home the fact that she's not actually a real villain. Unfortunately, I wasn't convinced of anything other than the fact that she's just so dumb. She doesn't even seem to genuinely care about anyone except her sister.
Grey, her love interest, there just to look hot and be unbearably naive, but I found myself wishing he could just disappear from the pages, since spending chapters to kill him off is just a waste of valuable word count. In that token, why was that pointless sex scene included? I was neither titillated or impressed by it, nor did the scene advance the plot. Was that supposed to make Nedra seem sympathetic? Having sex with the professed "good guy" of the story doesn't wash away "villain" status. With page count being so precious in this day of YA duologies, editors and authors should really be trying to maximize plot and character development, instead of trying to appease an audience that can literally hop on HBO or PornHub to get the same kind of entertainment.
Okay, maybe now I'm nit-picking at this point, but who the hell does copy-editing these days? Must everyone talk like they know they're going to be quoted for a sound bite? What's with all the contrived one-liners and the unnecessarily dramatic way of speaking? And this: HANGED = to execute someone with a noose. HUNG = having a large sexual organ (typically male). There were just too many hung men in this story, it felt like I could be reading a really terrible porno or just another moody teen fanfic writer on Wattpad.
Remember: Don't just blame the author, also blame the industry and editors. They've had as much impact on this book too.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Give me all the stories of a young woman’s descent into necromancy and the darkness that hungers for more.
“Bid My Soul Farewell” finds Nedra dabbling further into the art of necromancy as she tries to restore her sister’s soul but soon she finds that there’s something much darker lurking in the distance and with Grey making a name for himself with the Emperor the two find themselves at odds as the call for revolution grows.
It’s not often that I get to read stories that see a hero turn into the “villain” and I say that with quotes because though she may have questionable methods her intentions are always pure and her fight against completely giving in to the darkness is something I can’t get enough of. Nedra’s entire story is one that you can’t help but sympathize with and understand how easy it would be to snap and just raise hell but she manages to keep her calm until she’s pushed and for that I can’t help but admire her.
In the same breath I can’t vilify Grey either, he too has had quite the journey and it was easy to understand his fear of what heading down this path could mean for Nedra but he was always so willing to listen and learn and the moments when they fought or when they bit their tongues were so well done and as a reader you understood both sides of the conflict.
I really couldn’t guess how this series would wrap up and I was not disappointed it was a great arc that showed how power corrupts and how important love can be when going through hard times and for that I’ll always adore this series.
*Sigh* - the first book was sooo good, so I was expecting this to be just as awesome! This one felt not only rushed at the end, but stagnant on a character, world, and plot development level.
There was so much potential to explore: the political fallout and subplots (rebellion? court politics? the effects of colonialism? - that would have been intriguing), complexity to Nedra's and Grey's relationship (which felt the same since book one), more growth to Nedra and Grey (who didn't really seem to change since book one, which is a shame since there are some key life-changing events), and how the North truly is affected by colonialism and poverty (for as much as the reader gets to hear about it, we do not experience it).
The ending was...disappointing. There was a great twist at the end, and some action (more than there was for the whole story), but it felt unnecessarily drawn out. And, without spoiling it, it just seemed like a deus ex machina event. You know those climatic endings where the over-powered villain drones on, elaborating on their grandiose designs and reasons right before they want to kill the hero, giving the under-powered hero enough time to "figure out" what to do? This was that. And it just left me sad.
I had been putting off reading this book since it came out. I got it from the library on publication day but since series finales haven’t been good to me, I didn’t want to rush into it. I tried to keep my hype at a minimal and I think that helped. Although I wasn’t disappointed in the direction the plot took, I still felt that this story was just missing a tiny bit of something.
The book is split into two point-of-views just like the first. Nedra and Grey each have their own perspective and it helps to see the bigger picture. I think it also worked well because even though the two seem different when it comes to right and wrong, each one struggles with walking the fine line between the two. It’s also one reason I enjoy these characters because they can fall into being morally grey, especially Nedra.
Comparing the two characters to who they were in book one, I would say that there was some personal growth and good character development. Sacrifice has to do with a lot of it and again it is where Nedra must walk the line and decide what truly matters.
A majority of the minor characters are back. Although some meet a terrible end and I couldn’t help but feel so bad for them. I really enjoyed the character development for Nedra’s sister, Nessie. Some may say, “Well what kind of development can she have if she is dead?”. I would tell you but that would just ruin the book! I felt for all the sisterly bonds and it made me question what I would even do for my sisters. This book doesn’t care about your feelings and it will not stop until your heart feels it all.
As for the plot, it was surprising and left me engaged throughout. It was hard to put down and that is the feeling I always long for. The plot twists were out in full force and caught me off guard throughout. I will say that I felt the ending was a bit anti-climatic and just needed a bit more from those last scenes. Other than that, the writing was always wonderful and the plot was captivating.
Overall, I can’t say that this wasn’t a great ending. I’m glad that everything wrapped up nicely and my predictions for the ending were off. That epilogue was everything and now I must go take care of this book hangover because I am dead.