Reviews

On This Unworthy Scaffold, by Heidi Heilig

insipidurbanism's review

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adventurous

4.0

noelanig's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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raki's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

loveat1stwrite's review

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4.0

I somehow read this in less than 24 hours and if that doesn't tell you how good and hooked I was, I'm not sure what will! I absolutely adore the way this series is told through regular prose, scripts, letters, posters, and even sheet music. The variety really brings out a range of emotions for each character.

I was a little confused about what Jetta didn't bring Leonin back though. I thought that maybe they wouldn't want to be in a relationship together if he had to follow any order she gave, but Leo willingly killed himself in order to be brought back and ordered around by the bad guy so why wouldn't he want to be brought back to be with his soulmate? Idk the ending in that respect was flat for me. I think it could have been more heart-wrenching if A) Leo made it clear he didn't want to be brought back by Jetta, or if B) the bad guy had never controlled his soul in the first place (so that it was the first time he died).

utopiastateofmind's review against another edition

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  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

 (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) 

 On This Unworthy Scaffold examines the weaponization of people. What happens to us when we are turned into weapons, when our souls are weaponized. At the same time, it examines the differences between ourselves, and Jetta, and the forces she, and her friends, fight. Just because we think, we are different from those we fight, does that make it true? If our motives are 'pure' does that make it better? Within this conflict, who is worthy to be saved? Where does their 'worthiness' stem from?

On This Unworthy Scaffold doesn't offer easy answers. This finale delves into our definitions of 'foreigners' and 'citizens'. While Jetta and her friends might be fighting on grand scales, what changes in the lives of those around her? The ones who pick up the pieces. If you've loved the series so far, then you are bound to enjoy this finale. Do our differences lie in what we can do? What we will sacrifice for the "greater" good? 

ltorrice's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional hopeful tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

jo_scribbles's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

I received this eProof for free from Greenwillow Books via SparkPoint Studio for the purposes of providing an honest review.

Having loved the first two books in the Shadow Players Trilogy, I was really excited to read the final book, On This Unworthy Scaffold. Given the cliffhanger A Kingdom for a Stage ended on, I was expecting a hugely epic finalé, but sadly the the last book left a lot to be desired.

Jetta has been without the elixir that treats her malheur for quite a while, and it's effecting her. She's making rash decisions, taking risks, and putting herself in danger. It becomes clear quite quickly that Jetta's malheur needs to be treated, but the Tiger and the rebels are unable to wait. Action needs to be taken against Le Trépas, who has reanimated the bodies of Raik, the Boy King, and General Xavier Legard, using them as puppets to evict the Aquitans from Chakrana, and take control. It's decided that they will split up; Jetta will travel with Theodora to the lytheum mime to make the elixir she needs, while Cam, Akra, Leo Cheeky and Tia return to Nokor Khat to deal with Le Trépas.

I loved how the main force was divided in On This Unholy Scaffold. I was really intrigued by the different avenues the story took, and the creeping apprehension that something bad will happen while they were apart. In previous books, the scripted aspects of the ephemera usually gave us a glimpse into what the enemy was doing, a little foreshadowing of what was to come. But in On This Unworthy Scaffold, the scripted parts of the story were used to show us what was going on with Cam and Leo and the others, while Jetta and Theodora were searching for lytheum. Some major discoveries are made in this book that were amazing. Twists I wasn't expecting, paths the story took that I was really intrigued by. As I was reading, my excitement just built and built as the tension grew, and the various characters found themselves in more difficult circumstances. I loved the new characters we met, the new aspect of magic, the knowledge gained, the danger found in places not quite expected. I was so eager for the epic cliamx I knew was coming.

But it never did. And I absolutely hate to say it, because I'm such a huge fan of Heilig and her work, but I can't deny how stunned I was with how things turned out. In a number of different situations, full of danger that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, each time, the situation was resolved far too easily. It didn't take much for the tide to turn. The stakes were so high, but danger would be overcome quite quickly and simply. I can't explain further without spoiling the story, but it just felt too easy. And it's just so strange, because Heilig's The Girl From Everywhere duology ended so brilliantly. It's just such a shame. I was expecting something more, something bigger, something more climactic, but it just wasn't there.

Saying that, On This Unworthy Scaffold is a very emotional story. There was a certain moment that hit me quite hard and brought tears to my eyes. It was a twist I didn't see coming, and knocked me for six. I have loved the ephemera scattered throughout this series, it adds so much to the story. But it's really something in On This Unworthy Scaffold, and blew my mind. It was really, really beautiful.

But it sadly doesn't make up for how disappointed I was. But do read other reviews before deciding whether or not you'll read On This Unworthy Scaffold.

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amandalynnnb's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

 
I want to start by saying a huge thank you to Heilig’s publicity team that reached out to me to see if I was interested in reading an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. On This Unworthy Scaffold is one of my most anticipated releases in 2021 and I literally screamed a little when I got the email asking if I was interested. 
On This Unworthy Scaffold is the third and final book in the Shadow Players series. I won’t go too much into a summary of the book because there is a summary above and also this is the third book in a series. If you haven’t read the first two books you can read my reviews for For a Muse of Fire and A Kingdom for a Stage. This series follows Jetta, her family, and the friends she makes along the way. I’ve come to really love all of the side characters that make up the main group. Jetta and the rebels have a plan. But as things usually go, nothing goes according to plan. The plot of this story was really compelling. Jetta and Theodora go off on one mission. With this we finally get to see Aquitan. I liked this part of the story. We get to see Jetta think on her feet. She’s still often worried that her malheur. I liked that there was talk of her taking the elixir, a version of modern-day medication. I liked that she was aware of it and questioned herself sometimes to wonder if she was making good choices or not. I also really liked Jetta’s problem solving. She’s not afraid to stand up to those in power. I thought it was really clever the way that she brought things full circle when she finally performed in Aquitan. I just genuinely enjoyed seeing her in her own element, making choices on the fly to get herself out of the situation that she found herself in. I also loved Theodora. She’s an engineer/inventor. I feel like I didn’t get to see as much of her as I would have liked, but I still liked what we did see. She’s smart and unafraid to say what she thinks. Jetta and Theodora working together was really fun to read. 
The other team is the Tiger, Leo, Akra, Cheeky, and Tia. Cheeky and Tia are absolutely the comedic relief of the story. But they bring good conversations to the table. They are sex workers and it’s always talked about in a positive way, never with any shame. I also still love Akra. He and Jetta have their ups and downs that come from her bringing him back from the dead, but I loved their relationship. And my dear sweet Leo. I hate the way his story ended. No, I don’t hate it. I hate how fitting it was for his part of this story to end that way. Leo has tried so hard to do good and be loved. He faces his own challenges through this series, but he never lets anything get him down for long. His love for Jetta is so clear. Jetta and Leo lift one another up and I couldn’t help but root for them. 
Overall, this was a beautiful and heartbreaking finale to a series that I will reread and love for years to come. I love these characters. I love this story. It includes a lot of important things, like colonialism and bipolar. It’s filled with diverse and queer characters. It’s also written in a unique format, with sheet music, play scripts, myths, and prose. I cannot recommend this series enough. 

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