To say that this book meets expectations is correct, but not entirely fair. One would also have to mention that I expected this to be a worthy culmination to one of the best series I’ve ever read, and that both of the previous books made it into the top five list in the years I read them.
I can’t remember having higher expectations of a book, ever.
Getting back into the Keeper Origins series was a little like reuniting with old friends. The kind you’ve not seen for a long time, but with which you can still have the same old conversations and crack the same stupid jokes – as if no time at all had passed.
There’s Sable and Reese, Leonis and Thulan, Jae and Serene, and there are all the other characters that circle around them, just like I remembered. Admittedly, before getting back into the book, I’d have been hard pressed to remember any names but Sable’s, and maybe Kiva’s, but they all came back to me naturally while reading.
Phoenix Rising picks up where Raven’s Ruin left off. What was once a story of a young orphan trying to get out from under the thumb of a cruel gang boss has grown into tale involving the fates of nations and empires.
Even then, the story never loses sight of its true focus. The characters and the stories they create together – and if there’s one thread that runs through the entire series, it’s that of the power of stories. It’s always been there, in the background, and perhaps that’s what makes it so compelling. Because just like Sable has her own story, so do I have mine, and even if I don’t have a phoenix, my story still has its own kind of magic.
What I’ll whine about
Flibbet. In previous books in this world, even outside of this series, Flibbet the Peddler is a mysterious presence along the sidelines. The kind of character that hints at being not quite what he seems, and possibly much more. In Phoenix Rising, Flibbet plays a (very slightly) more active role than in the past, and while it’s not much, it was enough to diminish the glow of mysterious appeal for me.
What I’ll gush about
Well, it’s an amazing end to an amazing series of books, and it’s difficult to not just go “awesome, awesome, awesome, read it.” I’ll try though…
Sable. Our main character is still very much a real person, trying to find her own voice and trying to do what’s right. A little more confident, but still with her doubts and uncertainties – especially where her sisters are concerned.
Banter. So often recently, I’ve felt that authors show snarky banter into their books just to add comedic effect, without thought of pacing or tension, so it’s refreshing to see it done right. There are plenty of humorous exchanges, but they never get in the way of what’s important to the story.
Phoenix Rising is a worthy end to one of the best fantasy series I’ve ever read.