This book could have had a lot more of an emotional impact on me than it already did (it's lucky I didn't cry more really), but Crow's foreshadowing helped soften the blow I took while reading this book. Honestly though, I expected a lot more tragedy throughout these books than I've gotten. A lot of that is because I've been comparing them to Mercedes Lackey's
"the gay books" Valdemar: The Last Herald-Mage
which is so full of angst that it makes your heart bleed if you fall in love with the characters and their love. I'm very happy to say that even book three of Scarlet and Liall didn't make me cry as much as Vanyel's story did.
Sadly, however, while it was easy to see what initial tragedy the book had in store (the dreams between Scarlet and Liall through the series alluded to it well enough that it isn't a surprise), I was in no way prepared for what I feel to have been the true heartbreak in this book. A lot of that was just wishful thinking and misled hope I don't think I'm the only one who knew it would end with Liall as King
. But even while knowing in my heart it was inevitable if The Land of Night
was to come to the close it did, reading about Cestimir's death
was not made any easier. I cried and hours later I still feel like crying, and I don't expect the feeling will pass any time soon.
I feel much of the reason I am so affected by above mentioned events is that I grew to love some of the side characters almost as much as I love Scarlet and Liall. It does hurt less than it would if it had been one of our beloved main characters, but the pain is still very much there. I also feel as though Crow was subtly alluding to this tragic passing every time she foreshadowed the hunt of the snow bear, but by the time I caught on to it it was already too late, too late
Despite all of the depressing feelings I was left with towards the end of the book, there are still many happy moments and I actually laughed aloud which is rare. I laughed and I smiled and I grinned all the way through as I gobbled this story up just as I did the previous two in the series, and as I'm sure I will devour the upcoming 4th book as we learn of Scarlet and Liall's fate in The King of Forever
and what they make of this turn of events.
Falling in love with the side characters was easy.
Scarlet smiled a little. “How old are you again, boy?”
“Fifty, according Alexyin,” Cestimir grinned. “And then at other times: five. Today, I believe, we are at a five.”
Much easier than I thought since I was sure my entire focus would remain solely on Scarlet and Liall. That didn't happen and my feelings are mixed on this note. Of course, not because I didn't want to like any of the other characters, and I'm very glad I like them so well, but it just makes the tragic deaths that much more heartbreaking. And it doesn't help to know that Cestimir and Nadiushka at least didn't know of each other's passing in their last moments. Doesn't help to ease the pain at all. Too late, too late.
I would have liked for things to have gone differently in this book, especially with the end. If Cestimir were still alive, it would have enabled Scarlet and Liall to continue traveling as they were planning and as the two are naturally inclined to do.
However, despite my wishes, which were never going to come true, I still have to give this 5 stars like the previous two. It held my attention and I didn't want to put it down, except for the times when I did because I was scared of what was coming
that always happens to me
. I really can't wait to read the next book and I highly recommend this series to anyone interested.