I hate it.
No, not the book, I actually quite liked the book. It’s never an easy task to bring together as many different plotlines as you have when you’re the second book of the third series set in the same world–and I think Bardugo did it well.
No, I hate that one particular death in this book. They did not have to die.
Which I suppose means that it worked? Except… I don’t really feel like it changed anything, other than to annoy me, the reader. So it goes I suppose.
I like the background of politics and war, the magic and worldbuilding are neat, and Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina are surprisingly great points of view (Nikolai didn’t surprise me, but the other two did). I do especially enjoy Zoya’s voice–both in her word choice and the literal voice used for the audiobooks.
“I’ll get my own,” said Zoya. She was particular about sugar, and she needed a moment to take in this peculiar scene. It was strange that after so much pain and sacrifice, they should all meet again in this abandoned place.
There was a lot of story to bring to a conclusion–and that’s even without the brand new characters and plots in this book. If anything, it’s overstuffed. The ending really needed a bit more room to breath, but I still enjoyed it well enough.
The supporting cast is great as always. I still do greatly enjoy autistically-coded David:
“Far be it from me to argue with a man as big as a boulder.” Nikolai poured himself a cup of tea and glanced at the papers laid out on the table. “Are those the new calculations for our launch system?” David nodded without looking up. “And how are they coming along?”
“I keep getting interrupted,” David said pointedly.
“Splendid. Good to know I’ve done my part.”
Last fun enjoyment–
“Then I’ll just have to make some more.” He paused and turned to look back over his shoulder at her. “The Suli never forget their own, General Nazyalensky. Just like crows.”
It’s not a huge plot point and given how stuffed the book is probably didn’t need to be there. But I still enjoyed it.
Overall, a solid end to a solid series. I don’t think I’d mind another trip to this world if Bardugo returns some day, but for now… onward!