Every War Must End. Porter, Sarah, and their friends are running out of time. Arch-Mythic Rayalga plans to lead his army against humanity and lay claim to the earth, and the Slayers are marching to meet them. Porter and Sarah must hurry if they want to end the war without needless bloodshed… but how? The Master Slayer, Drake Mortoph, will do anything to stop them, and he has a secret powerful enough to make history repeat itself.
I found this to be the best of the three in The Slayer and the Sphinx trilogy, though it was a very nearly a tie with book two.
My favorite aspects of this story include the personal growth of the characters, the battles and the magic. Even the minor characters are given their moment in the spotlight, and the reader is given insight into their motivations for both good and ill. Granger and Domino fall into this category. The time devoted to them makes their part in the story much more meaningful and memorable than it could have been if less time was spent developing them.
I also liked how Porter and Sarah’s relationship is approached in this story. The connection of souls and it’s manifestation in the physical world was a clever way to bind these two together. As I suspected, the potential love triangle from book two is abandoned in book three. I consider this a good thing. It would have just cluttered things up.
The battles and the magic are also noteworthy. The battles add action and danger to the story, as well as opportunities for tragedy and character growth. They are well executed and, as in the first two books, make you feel like you’re there in the thick of things. The magic is interesting and the forms it takes are varied. Familiar magic from earlier installments is balanced with new magic introduced or expounded upon in book three. In particular, I enjoyed the parts about the different types of chimeras.
On the downside, though more realistic, I didn’t particularly like that so many of the good characters perished. I guess I prefer the good guys to make it despite the odds, even if they don’t make it out completely unscathed. There is as much tragedy as there is triumph, and in some ways, even the tiniest losses are hugely painful to read about. I’m not saying this story is like Game of Thrones or other stories where everyone dies, not at all. Still, no character seems protected from risk. The story weaves life and death together somewhat realistically, even for a fantasy, and the outcome doesn’t always seem fair. It makes the danger seem all that much more real.
Overall, I thought this was a great story, though laced with emotional landmines. I would highly recommend this story, and the trilogy as a whole, to fans of modern fantasy. The story is appropriate for teens and adults, though those with an aversion to violence or those who prefer only happily ever after scenarios might find some parts tough to absorb. On the converse, those who like the unexpected and don’t expect unicorns and rainbows at every turn will appreciate this story all the more for it’s realistic approach to battle and conflict.
The review copy of this book was received from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.