I loved what was delivered, but be aware that even at 512 pages, you’re only receiving 75% of a story. This takes you right up to the climax point and provides absolutely no resolution to anything. The last 25% of the story was hacked off, I suspect due to unnecessary length and also to create a cliff-hanger that will force readers (who aren’t too frustrated) to pick up the next book.
Quite frankly, I like a well-developed, well-edited, and complete story, and that is what inspires me to read the next book that an author writes.
Now, that all being said, I absolutely adored the His Fair Assassin Series, and this partial story is equally well done. My only complaint is that everything is too drawn out and drags on for far too long. I would rather have had a bit of the excess cut away, so that there would have been time and room for the final expected elements of any story. This effectively stops right at ACT III. In fact, the final sentence would be what I consider to be the start of ACT III, so there is effectively no finale.
Beyond that, the writing is strong, the characters are oh so distinct and lovable, and it even brings back some of your favorite characters from the previous trilogy, with Sybella staring as one of the two major POVs for the novel.
Now, do I recommend that you read this despite it not being a complete story?
Did I enjoy it up to the point where it abruptly ended?
And am I still disappointed to have received only a partial novel, when the 3 previous works I’ve read by this author wrapped up so well?
This book releases on February 5, 2019. I highly recommend that you read it, especially if you love the His Fair Assassin trilogy, but since this is a duology, you should consider your own personal reading preferences. If you struggle with issues of story structure or hate cliff-hangers that arrive before there is any real resolution (I actually love cliff-hangers. They are deliciously torturous, but first I want and deserve a bit of resolution and satisfaction), then it would be in your best interests as a reader to just wait another year until book two is published and read them both together. I think this was likely one very long novel, and instead of editing it down to fit publishing standards, it was chopped up into two parts.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ARC for my early review. This would be 5 stars if there had been any amount of resolution to any of the major plotlines of the story. Only one minor subplot involving Sybella’s siblings was resolved, and it was a subplot that honestly drug on far too long and was not really that interesting or necessary to the story. If that whole thread had been cut out, then we probably would have received a more fast-paced and complete story.
Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I wish someone had killed a few more darlings, because this could have been a far stronger novel if it had pushed the action forward with more determination. I didn’t necessarily mind that it drug on and meandered about, because I enjoy the characters and world so much that I had limitless patience while reading. However, I do think I may have loved it even more, and even potentially excused the lack of ending, if some of the unnecessary scenes had been cut away to allow the story to move forward at a better pace.
I believe that readers like, want, and deserve a bit of payout, especially after reading 512 pages. When you spend all that time, desperate to know how all the major issues of the story are resolved, it’s disappointing and frustrating when none of them are, not even in the most minor ways, which is why I’ve settled on 3 stars, even though some part of me wanted to be able to give it at least 4.
Book 50 read in 2019