It had been quite a while between this final novel of the series and Cress for me to get into it again. And even more so since I didn’t get a chance to read it immediately upon release date due to other books in my TBR list. Nor did I try to refresh my memory from Cress to recall certain what happened to each of the characters.
However, with that said, enough of what happened in the previous books came back to me for me to understand what was going on in the beginning of this book. And I was able to read and enjoy the book all the while freaking out at the events that were taking place throughout. It was a thrilling journey packed with action, drama, and romance throughout.
What was really enjoyable about the story was the way that Marissa had brought in familiar elements from the original fairy tales, as she had done in her previous books, and weaved them into this book. It’s not something that feels forced into the storyline and it works for story.
I still really loved the main protagonists through this book and admired Marissa for giving each female character their own challenges to overcome. One thing that can’t be said about her books is any lack of strong female characters in it as they are pretty much front and center.
The reason I give it 3.5 instead of even a 4-star rating is that there were several things that had were problematic for me. One of them being the length of the book. It’s over 800 pages long. And it’s not that I haven’t read long books before, however, I’m not sure all the details that the thoughts that we read from the characters should have been thorough as they were. I mean, normally I like thorough, but I was surprised how much I didn’t like it in this story. I don’t know why that is, and maybe it’s just me, but there were times when I felt that I was just reading filler. I know sometimes it is more to get the emotions of the character in that moment, but also it was just quite descriptive, and thus felt a bit like infodumping. It ended up being frustrating for me in those times.
The other issue I had about the book is the endgame for our protagonists. After having read such a lengthy novel, I had hoped that there would be a more complete conclusion for each of them. Granted, if I were to simplify the situation, it would seem as they all lived happily ever after, which is a good thing. But I guess I really wasn’t happy with how things ended for almost all of them, and to me, it just didn’t seem as happily ever after as it could have been. Given the characters are more complex than the characters they’re based on, and I suppose it’s understandable these characters’ endings shouldn’t be so happy. Or maybe I just wanted “more in the end” instead of the “more in the middle” that I got.
But despite the issues I had with the book, it’s still an enjoyable read, just not a quick read. Be prepared to spend time with this book. Be prepared to be frustrated and heartbroken and all kinds of emotions. I expect many to like it much more than I did.
Read my review of this book on Goodreads, which contains some *spoilers*