- Plot- or character-driven? A mix
- Strong character development? It's complicated
- Loveable characters? It's complicated
- Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
- Flaws of characters a main focus? No
arachnichemist's review against another edition
hagbard_celine's review against another edition
cameronkc's review against another edition
kynan's review against another edition
TL;DR (no spoilers here): More of the same, but better! If you enjoyed the previous two you'll absolutely love this one. The characters get a little more depth and a lot more explanatory interaction. That said, if you're here for mechanised-warriors facing off against armies, demons and impossible odds, don't worry, you're still in the right place!
TL: Well, I think that this was my favourite of the trilogy, it's scored a three instead of a two and mostly this is because I felt a bit more purpose here! Once again I was reminded of the [a:Robert Jordan|6252|Robert Jordan|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1538507642p2/6252.jpg]'s Wheel of Time series (the subject matter is just too similar - and for me too recent perhaps? - to ignore) but this book also had strong overtones of [a:Philip Pullman|3618|Philip Pullman|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1596562192p2/3618.jpg]'s His Dark Materials. The Killing Light (and, to a lesser extent, [b:The Queen of Crows|34371030|The Queen of Crows (The Sacred Throne, #2)|Myke Cole|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1516740171l/34371030._SY75_.jpg|55452475]) reads as a strong polemic against organised religion. There was a specific argument towards the end of the book between Tone and Heloise, in which Tone states:
The mind is like a gate. The more tightly it is closed, the less chance that the enemy will gain entrance. That is what faith is. It is believing a thing, even though you don't understand it. Understanding is the gateway to heresy.
That's like a red rag to a bull (even though bull's aren't actually upset by red, I guess that should be "a waving rag") to a skeptical mind, but that argument is precisely the kind of thing that is argued all over the world today! There's also a little hat-tip to
It's always old men with you villagers. It's all you will have to lead you.
I have to say that I was a little surprised when I looked at Wikipedia's list of incumbent female heads of state just now and discovered a lot more than just Germany, New Zealand and Iceland, there's something in this story that's probably targeted a little at there here and now, given that it was only published late in 2019. Anyway, that's an aside to the point I was making, which was that there's a bit more body wrapped around the bones of the story this time around. Heloise became a bit more of a human, she still managed to push on a lead her army through some impressively terrible things, but, at book three, I think we can happily ignore that particular train of thought. Mostly, it was the depth of character and the interactions between the characters that made the point clearer and the story more interesting.
It's hard to say much without actually spoiling this book, which I won't do, but suffice it to say that if you enjoyed the previous two you'll definitely be happy with where this one ends up. I still have the same problem here that I had with the previous two: this trilogy of novella's really feels like it should have been a trilogy of novels. There was a lot more to say here and the lack of it being said is what made the series so hard to read. With a bit more time, a bit more depth, there would be so much more to buy into (not to mention understanding how - maybe even why - the magic works) so much more empathy to feel. I think that Mr Cole has a talent to come up with a story, he just has to keep working on telling it. To be fair, each of these books has completed with an explanation from the author that this is him dipping his toe into the fantasy genre and having a hard time doing so at that. Congrats for getting a book out at all, keep up the good work I say!
mhcovill's review against another edition
tristan_gray's review against another edition
The final volume of the series doesn't quite have the same firm and concise focus as its predecessors, but it gives more space to hope, relationships and character development that flesh out its offer.
It's been a tough journey, and I'm glad Cole brought us along it with him. It won't be a tale I forget.
ktjawrites's review against another edition
tmarthal's review against another edition