all in all, a solid conclusion to the trilogy, even though there were some draggy parts weighing it down.
a scattering of thoughts and opinions:
lila is still the best thing about this series. she of the “jaunty posturing” and quick knives and aptitude unfettered by training. i was a bit disappointed View Spoiler »that she turned out to be antari, because i was hoping she’d be some new kind of power, standing apart and alone, forging her own mythology as she went. « Hide Spoiler but she’s still my favorite, full of wit and grit and stabbing, and i appreciated the moments where her confidence was rattled, her skills not enough, her limits exposed, because a badass who can be beaten is much more interesting than one who cannot.
holland also gets my thumbs-up here. he becomes more sympathetic with backstory reveals, and considering all he went through back in book two-town, “No one suffers as beautifully as you do” and all, can’t we cut him a little slack already? such a raw deal for poor holland. he never gets to have a nice day. View Spoiler »and i do not understand his final scene, he just … dies like he’s some kind of heroine in a victorian novel, implausibly sudden, from unspecified causes. considering what he’s endured i understand the temptation to give up and will death to come, but still – disappointing, considering he knows the most and has survived the most and has the most to teach about pain and perspective. « Hide Spoiler
”It does nothing to dwell on what’s been taken from you,” he snarled. ”Nothing.”
rhy and alucard are easy to love, even if, like me, you hate the name “alucard” and, also like me, you are not into romance. i just like them as characters, so when they are getting their smirch on, it doesn’t bore me the way lovey-dovey stuff usually does. plus, rhy got to do and be more in this one, so he became more human and less archetype, which always helps me root for a character.
kell is… still pretty boring. he holds it all together; he’s the narrative anchor or linchpin, but he’s not nearly as interesting as the rest of his posse, red hair and flashy coat notwithstanding.
i am pleased to have more of a sense of maxim and emira, for what it’s worth.
what’s with all the ned stuff? i can’t see any narrative reason for bringing that in so late in the book unless it is meant to be setting up some spin-off action. View Spoiler »i mean, it feels like there’s a chance king george got him some shadow-eyes, right? « Hide Spoiler
where does all of this leave nasi? she’s there to be a pair of eyes to witness the thing that happens, but once she serves that purpose, she’s just abandoned and i’m not even sure what the shape of that world is anymore.
and cora – i feel like it might be important to know who helped her with that last thing she does, right?
there are probably more questions, but they can just stay in my head with the rest of the chattering nonsense.