GENRE: Fantasy, YA
SERIES: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #3
SERIES RATING: A+
Guess what I finally finished! Woot! As with every other book in this series I LOVED DOGAM! This is one of those series that every single book was better than the last and the first was phenomenal! This is easily one of my favourite series of all time now, top 3. The writing, characters, description, story, world building and the emotions are so dead on. This is my standard to which all writing is compared now. Everything is woven so well, there are no loose threads and everything clicks. If you know nothing about this series here’s a non-spoilery tidbit: We start off with this 17 year old girl, Karou, and she’s just walking to school in Prague and her ex-boyfriend jumps out to scare her. Then slowly we get more and more background. Karou is a human but she was raised by these creatures called Chimaeras which are spliced up animals. (ie: Half man- half snake, Half bird-half lion, etc.) The Angels are at war with the Chimaeras and Karou is caught up in this mess but she doesn’t really know it. She’s just trying to have a semi-normal life with school and friends and art but mixed in is her Chimaera adopted family that she no longer lives with but spends time with.
For there it just escalates into this beautifully built world. Go pick it up, I think everyone should read it. I cannot recommend highly enough. Spoilers past here!
This has to be the single most satisfying conclusion to a series I have ever read, including Clockwork Princess. It sounds like there is potential for more books, I don’t know if she’s going to take that path but even as in it was so satisfying and real. It was a happy ending it felt believable. Ok, lets get into the good details!
For the first third of this book Akiva is totally in the dark and it was so frustrating! I realized that it was actually only 2 days or so but when he’s talking to Thiago/Ziri in the beginning when they are still at the sand castle and he’s noticing that Thiago no longer looks at him with this jealousy and he assumes that the reason for that is that Karou is his now and he doesn’t need to be. Couple this with the fact that Karou looks like (and everyone “knows”) that she was raped by the Wolf and it’s a really heartbreaking situation. Akiva is trying to help her and she wants to sty with Thiago/Ziri and it’s just incredibly confusing for poor Akiva. On that note though, Ziri was so good in this deception. I was nervous the entire time about him getting caught but he played the part so well!
While Ziri is parading around as the Wolf, we have this other chimera, Haxaya, who is impersonating Ten. I didn’t see it coming that she was the trouble maker until we see her attacking Liraz. When she almost reveled Ziri I was just shocked that someone we had been lead to believe was a friend would betray the mission so selfishly. We learn a lot about Liraz through this book and although she’s first presented as this emotionless soldier she actually is incredibly ashamed for what she has done and she has dreams of cutting off her arms to be clean and new again.
When Stelians were first mentioned to us in the second book I thought of them way different. Non-violent, peaceful, kind, like the Amity of this series. I also thought they were going to end up helping the rebels (which I guess they did, but I was thinking more in the food, care and shelter way.) And I was totally off. They are shown to us as really quite vicious and cruel. When the Misbegotten who were in their prison find out the “fruit” is actually their dead companions and the original messengers from the Joram, and Eidolon takes a bite right infront of them. And they way they work I find so unfair. The killing by cutting the life thread is so cheap. It’s the equivalent of shooting someone in the back when they don’t even know you are there, they have no chance to fight back. It’s cowardly. This leads to the ordeal at the pools where Akiva is waiting for Karou and Scarab is there invisible and is about to kill his when she realizes he’s part Stelian. On the one hand I understand the logic of wanting to kill Akiva, he’s a threat to the world. But on the other hand, he’s clearly just a kid who has no idea what it is hes doing. You would think the first move would to be to talk to him and find out a) what he’s doing because they say it shouldn’t be possible b) why he is doing so and c) why he CAN do so. There is a religion of sorts going around in the angels, you would think that someone with these powers would be considered “given” them by the Godstars and finding out why would be high on the religious priority. The Stelians sound less religious then the rest of the angels, and at they end they get around to this eventually and realize Akiva actually had no clue what he was doing, but their first thought was still to kill him!
This idea Karou has to just ask Jael to leave, we didn;t get the full story until the ambush in the emperors chambers and before then this seemed like the stupidest plan. It was actually incredibly smart burning the hand onto him, but it also could have ended horribly where the guards just kill him on the spot so he could never ignite the mark. But anyway, part of this plan is this battle with the Chimera and Misbegotten and the Dominion. Originally it was supposed to be 3:1 but way more Dominion showed up. Liraz kicking Akiva through the portal and sacrificing herself was so beautiful and although Akiva blamed himself for it, Liraz was doing the only thing she thought she could to really redeem herself. In her mind I think she couldn’t save Hazael so she needed to same Akiva. When Ziri died I didn’t know what to feel. I didn’t think he was coming back so I was sad, but at the same time relieved for him becasue he didn;t have to pretend anymore or deal with war. Obviously I’m glad Liraz saved his soul and he could be resurrected, but I would have been oddly ok if he had been dead too.
While this is all going down we have this Eliza woman back in Earth. She’s a scientist and she has these crazy nightmares that show monsters. I thought for a long while that she could see the future and that she was seeing the destruction of Earth, but turns out that these are actually memories of her ancestor who was an angel like Razgut. I honestly had no clue where this was going until the very end when Mik and Zuzanna made a wish for her to get her full self back. I’m still unclear as to why she turned into an angel and how all her memories that weren’t really her memories were in her head. It was confusing. I appreciated the monarch butterfly analogy, it made it slightly less confusing.
When Zuzana and Mik walk into the snooty hotel in Rome and Zuzanna completely out-sasses the woman I was laughing so hard! It was so completely hilarious he way she handled it. Especially throwing her bag on the ground and just being all “oops, deal with that won’t you?” Then Zuzanna and Mik taking the gavriels from Ester! Such beautiful, sweet revenge! I guess people in the business of collecting these wishes wouldn’t be the honest type so they shouldn’t have trusted her in the first place, but stealing all her swishes was wonderfully satisfying,
Then we finally get back to the Dominion camp! I was in pretty hard denial at this point. No, the Dominion can’t have won. That doesn’t work! And Jael walks into his tent and it’s Liraz waiting there, beautiful victory! Putting him on display like a zoo, it was so deliciously cruel as pay back for everything he had done and it was utterly fantastic! After that we get this really sweet moment between Liraz and Ziri when he’s back in his true form. I’m so glad they have each other, they both needed someone who understands them. I loved how they went out flying and how Liraz is so thrown becasue she has no clue how to actually talk with someone becasue apart for Akiva and Hazael she never let herself care about anyone.
And finally we have this epilogue. Longest epilogue I have ever seen and it was greatly appreciated! The Stelians still strike me as not people I’d be comfortable living with, but after Eliza’s proclamation of they will be the Godstars and everyone gets released fro prison they sound ok. It was so sweet and perfect having Karou come to spend the winter with Akiva before she goes back and resurrects the rest of the Chimera. the ending was just perfect and there could be another book talking about the monster in the otherworlds, but even as it is, it was a flawless happy ending.