Have you started the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy? No? Then don’t read this, because it will be Spoiler City as this is the last book in the series. (Although I wouldn’t be surprised if this world of angels and chimera and Karou makes a reappearance at some point, considering how this one ended.)
Karou is leading the chimera army, or what’s left of it, through deception. A sacrifice from the previous book let her with a puppet regime, with her at the strings. An uneasy truce is reached between the chimera and the rebel angels that Akiva leads. And then that whole storyline, what could be referred to as The Point of the first two books, the whole reason Karou and Akiva’s Romeo and Juliet love affair was tragic and interesting, just kind of ends with a whimper instead of a bang.
Yes, there is a final battle, and an end to the ages long war between chimera and angels, so the story does get an ending at least. But it comes at the cost of Karou’s agency and us having another strong female character in young adult literature. In a “big” reveal (really, it’s telegraphed a mile away), Akiva is shown to be a long lost prince of a group of hermit angels that know powerful magic and Akiva is a super wizard, ‘arry, because female characters have to become sidekicks in their own stories. Akiva’s been using his super magic without really knowing what he is doing, which is tearing the world apart, which sends a posse of super hermit magic angels to hunt him down. The whole tearing apart the world thing is important because eons ago, the angels were basically astronauts to other dimensions, until they wrecked the space-time continuum or some such thing, which collapsed all the other worlds/dimensions, leaving only this one, that Akiva is inadvertently destroying. Taylor tries to throw us a bone by introducing another strong female character, Eliza, into the series, but it’s weak sauce compared to what Karou used to be.
I know I sound down on this book, but I’m a Debbie Downer, what can I say? I really would continue to read this series if Taylor does do another few books about this world. The hermit magic angels and Eliza are more interesting than I give them credit for, but I’m just super bummed that my bad ass, blue haired Karou was not given her due.