Helen's Reviews > A Blackbird in Twilight

A Blackbird in Twilight by Freda Warrington
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it was amazing
bookshelves: competent-female-characters, fantasy, magic, reviewed, favourites

What a ride! This has taken my emotions up and down so much it's taken me three days to be able to start writing a review.

A Blackbird in Twilight is the fourth book in Blackbird series, and the concluding part of the story started in A Blackbird in Amber.

Mellorn / Melkavesh has raised an army to repel the Gorethrian army. But her sorcery has been no help to her, and the Gorethrian Emperor Xaedrek is using the power of the last remaining demon to strengthen his soldiers and power his war machines.

But they all fail to see that the biggest threat to Earth is the demon, who has dark plans of their own.

There is some serious character growth in this book! The characters are all imperfect shades of grey.

Mellorn wants to stop the Empire enslaving the whole continent, but she also has her own ego. She sees herself as a saviour, as a leader and an Empress, and she can't see her own faults.

Kharaan thinks of herself as a coward, but over the two books, she has evolved into a strong and resilient woman. She acts as Mellorn's conscience, putting the brakes on the sorceress' ego.

Xaedrek is doing some very bad things and has allowed himself to be controlled by the demon. But his motivation is his love of Gorethria, and he is sensible and logical and capable of caring. We see all sides of him and he comes across as a real person, not a cardboard cutout villainous emperor.

The first Blackbird book I enjoyed, but you could see Freda Warrington's inexperience as a writer, and I found it a little bit naive. Her writing was good from the first book but also improved massively over the series. This fourth book is multilayered and deeply thought out. It's well written and atmospheric and full of difficult decisions for her characters. There are no right answers here, no obvious rights and wrongs

I can never guess where the story is going to go next, what the characters will do, how they will deal with their problems. And yet, when it happens, when things are resolved, it's hard to see how it could have happened any other way.

Don't read Freda Warrington if you don't want a bittersweet ending. I feel heartbroken and yet happy at the same time. And she is so very good at making her villains so human you understand their actions, and even sympathise with them.

This is the most enjoyable fantasy series I've read in a long time, and this book has easily earned its five stars.
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Reading Progress

June 20, 2017 – Shelved
June 20, 2017 – Shelved as: own-and-need-to-read
July 17, 2017 – Started Reading
July 17, 2017 –
page 40
July 18, 2017 –
page 82
July 18, 2017 –
page 158
July 19, 2017 –
page 178
July 19, 2017 –
page 246
July 20, 2017 –
page 287
July 20, 2017 –
page 344
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: competent-female-characters
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: magic
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: reviewed
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: favourites
July 25, 2017 – Finished Reading

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