Review: The Last Uncharted Sky

Series: The Risen Kingdoms: #3

Where An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors was mystery and religious fiddling and A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery was a political story, culminating in a fall of power (or at least a shift), The Last Uncharted Sky shifts yet again. This time we have a (aero)nautical adventure with skyships, pirates, lost treasures, and found families. Really, it’s a wonderful exploration of just how wonderful and strange the world we’ve been allowed to inhabit for just a little while.

Quite a book and well well worth the read. If anything, I think it may be my favorite of the three! I wish we’d gotten to a lot of the plotpoints in this book a lot earlier so that we’d have more time to explore them. And I sorely hope they’ll be yet another sequel some day. There’s still room for it, even if I expect once again to be surprised.

Characterwise, it’s fascinating to see Isabella continue to grow, coming into her role as a leader, realizing that people might actually just like her for her, and really coming into a handful of new powers. It’s certainly not an easy ride, but she does an excellent job of it. From there, we also have Jean-Claude taking a less prominent role–which is to say he only saves the world once or twice–and gains a few new tricks of his own; Bitterlich developing into quite the dashing hero and love interest–with a tragic backstory; newcomer 12-year-old Rebecca with secrets of her own, Marie, pale and terrifying in her own right. Oh there’s just so many to love.

Worldbuildingwise, we get a lot more of the Seelenjägers (I love the use of language, from German that would be roughly ‘Soul Hunters’), even more of the Fenice, an extension of teh Windcallers, and of course more Sanguinaire. Not so much the Glasswalkers this time around. It’s amusing just how little we hear from Prince Julian after the first book and change. No great loss. But the real worldbuilding comes in the hints and pieces of what happened to the world before.

Coquetta said, “Poor Saint Cynessus. I always thought he got a bad deal.”

This got her a curious look from Jean-Claude.

She continued, “Well, think about it. Iav betrayed the Builder and stole his power. The Breaker entered the world. The Primus Mundi shattered. The saints ran for the Vault of Ages. Saint Cynessus held the door for them. He looked out to see if there was anyone else coming and got blinded for his trouble. And after all that, now some wretched heretic has stolen his hand.”

There are so many hints here… it really sounds like this very well could be something akin to our world–after a nuclear (or worse) war tore everything apart, leaving all sorts of crazy artifacts and a fantastic setting. It’s the sort of thing that’s absolutely fascinating to imagine and makes me want to know so much more about what happened.