I say this because since it was published, the last book in this series (which I have enjoyed greatly!) hasn’t gotten the greatest reviews from my friends and from others. I spoiled myself a little after reading this one and it honestly does sound awful, what happens. Maybe context would help, but it really doesn’t seem like it. And this book ends in a relatively good place! So I really think I might just leave it here. I don’t know. I’m too curious for my own good. I’m like one of those cats who jumps up on the bathtub ledge while it’s full and falls in while trying to bat the water with their paw. Do not let your cat do this! You are naked and your cat has claws!
My thoughts about book nine aside, I really enjoyed this one. Just like with the last one, we get POVs from Atticus, Granuaile, and Owen, and I loved what the variety did for my interest in the story. I know I said this in my review of book seven, but Hearne is clearly talented! He’s very good at creating distinct character voices and thought patterns for these three very different people, and you empathize with all of them while you’re in their heads. Atticus has the main thread of the narrative, as all three POVs eventually converge with his storyline. He’s determined to finally end the once again active threat that the oldest vampire in the world, Theophilus, represents to the future of Druidry (and he doesn’t mind admitting there’s not a little vengeance in there for Theophilus’s part in wiping all Druids but Atticus from the earth two thousand years before).
Owen and Granuaile’s stories were just as good, though. Owen is approached by the Tempe and Flagstaff packs with an offer. Several werewolves had children before they were turned and they all agree that the children being trained to be Druids is a great option, as the children will then possess longer lifespans closer to those of their supernatural parent, and will help in keeping them safe from the supernatural world. This will also make a small start to eventually repopulating the world with Druids. Unfortunately, things don’t run smoothly for them as the things Atticus is doing incur some consequences. Meanwhile, Granuaile is trying to take care of her Loki problem, and in order to do so, has to do a favor/go on a quest for the Polish coven, which involves her going on adventures with Perun the Thunder God. I also really liked her interactions with the witches. It was much more positive than similar meetings with them while we were in Atticus’s head.
For me, this book was the perfect blend of fun and exciting fantasy adventure and an examination of consequences, and the continuing character arcs for these three people. A lot of things are wrapped up here that have been dangling story threads for books, in one case, the whole series. Really the only things left are Ragnarok (and I don’t give a shit about that, to be frank) and some things actually introduced here for the first time. Spoilers for this book and the next: SPOILERS Namely, that Atticus has doubts that his relationship with Granuaile will stand the test of time; he thinks there’s a good chance she will outgrow him. This is especially important due to my being spoiled for their break-up, which most people seem to think makes Granuaile look really bad. And let me be clear, where I would prefer they stay together, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for me if they break up. The break up itself would not be the problem. But if it’s not done well? That’s another story END SPOILERS.
I guess time will tell to see if I will be the cat that falls in the bathtub or not. This really does function very well as an ending, if you’re okay imagining your own resolution to the pending Ragnarok.