Is it wrong of me to wish that this story was about 50,000 pages long?
I was caught in the whirlwind of emotions as I simultaneously wanted to sprint through it to find out what happened and wanted it to go on forever so I didn't have to say goodbye to this group of amazingly awesome characters. It, like all good things, sadly must eventually come to an end... this one was a good one. It was an ending befitting of the awesome series that is The Emperor's Edge.
Why not 5 stars then?
The closure of this tale was long and winding, sad and exciting, fraught with danger and imbued with a lot of character growth. I loved getting to know more of Sicarius and the rest of the crew, the good and the bad, but again, as with book #6, I didn't feel the same level of emotional connection as I did earlier in the series.
I'm not sure why this is.
I went in, expecting to bawl my eyes out, but wasn't pushed to that point. This caused me to end up slightly disappointed that I wasn't an emotional mess. Weird I know, but we loyal fans all enjoy reading so we can be emotionally raped and then walk away with a smile as we remember both the grisly and glorious details we experienced with the characters. This was missing from Forged in Blood parts 1 and 2.
Despite the lessening of my emotion connection with the characters I was still swept up in the story. I grinned idiotically at my kindle in parts, sighed in frustration at others, fanned myself ecstatically at a certain point... it kept me engaged, always throwing a curve ball when needed, encouraging me to keep reading when all seemed lost, practically poked my eyes out when the bad stuff was happening and I didn't want to keep reading for fear of what might happen. Lindsay certainly packed an awful lot into this finale.
I do wonder, perhaps if there was a little too much packed in? Too much growth of certain characters, too little exploration of others (especially if you don't know the added characters in this book). It did seem a little rushed and always go, go, go. I am a little conflicted in terms of the level of activity and action in this book. I felt it was all needed to complete the story, but it also felt a little too much at times.
Ultimately, though, this is a brilliant and awful conclusion of a fantastic series.
Brilliant for all the above reasons I've mentioned... awful because, well, it's an ending.
I was however, pleasantly surprised that Lindsay incorporated a little note at the end saying she'd like to know who we'd like to hear more about. I want to say all of them...
Thanks Lindsay for a roller coaster ride with this flawed, imperfect, rag-tag group of characters who are now like family. I will miss reading about them, until next time.