Title: Fall of Thrones and Thorns
Author: Jennifer Ellision
Series: Threats of Sky and Sea #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
Available: 27th Sept
War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.
After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.
And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.
The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.
Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.
In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.
And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.
Source: ARC via NetGalley
There’s a big showdown coming in this series finale. The readers know it, the characters know it, but there’s a whole book to get through first because it’s a trilogy. Oh, and a few other things need to be sorted out along the way, like Bree’s actual identity, Aleta’s identity crisis and something about some earthquakes.
Everything picks up at the moment where the last book left off, which was all very dramatic. Sadly, the beginning here isn’t. It somehow manages to be both slow and lacking in development, which is something of a surprise. Bree is separated from her friends, but doesn’t seem to care, as she pouts about governance and how unfit she is for the task because she’s not Aleta, while Caden and co practise fighting and Aleta has an existential crisis, which she sort of solves by baking pies. Days are skipped over with nothing actually happening, when I’d kind of hoped to learn more about Nereidium beyond the fact that they use different words, have a different view of religion and their councillors are rubbish.
Nothing really happens here. None of the relationships develop, Bree doesn’t really grow into her role, and to be honest I’d have expected her to have pushed harder against being separated from her friends – which happened for no good reason, except to give Caden reason to angst. Which he is very good at, true, but it’s not much fun to read.
The action picks up in the second half when things move back to the mainland. However, I struggled with the way Bree was simply allowed to go. After everything, all the waiting the Nereidians had done for her to return, they just wave her off when she had absolutely no reason to actually leave, except that her friends were going and she wanted to confront Langdon herself. She’s supposed to be a queen! A long-lost, long-awaited queen at that. There is no reason why her aunt would be happy for her to put herself back into danger, especially when the others were going to sort things out anyway. It’s daft, makes no sense and never even comes up for discussion.
And that’s one of my main problems with this book. Things just happen because that’s what the plot needs in order to get to the end. It doesn’t matter if they make sense, it doesn’t matter if it’s what the characters would actually do, the plot dictates and so we should just accept it. This might have been okay if anything interesting had been happening between the characters, but the romances go nowhere (Caden and Bree barely even have a romance most of the time) and the friendships are set as they were before. Where the last book was all about the travelling, this time around they could all have been teleporting with the way they pop up in the next destination with absolute ease.
Also, what’s with the massive entourages everywhere they go? Don’t these people know anything about stealth?
Everything with Everett came out of nowhere and felt like a complete waste of what could potentially have been a really intriguing subplot.
The final showdown was good in terms of how Bree handled things. King Langdon was just a ridiculous cliché. He started off pretty bad and he ends worse, with zero explanation of how it was even possible for him to achieve what he does. I was disappointed by that – just as I was with Caden’s religious enlightenment.
As for the end/epilogue… Well, that was a cop out if ever I read one. After three books I’d have expected more of a resolution than that, for any of the characters. What even happened to half of them?
So overall this is too contrived, too easy, lacking in development of characters and relationships and basically disappointing. This series started out so well, but it definitely lost steam and finally ran out of it altogether along the way.
Fall of Thrones and Thorns is out September 27th.
Visit Jennifer Ellision for more details.