Before I review The Last Mortal Bond I must make you aware that there will be spoilers if you have not read The Emperor’s Blades and The Providence of Fire. Furthermore if you have not read these…
Then what are you waiting for!!
The Last Mortal Bond – Brian Staveley
(The Unhewn Throne #3) Preceded by The Emperor’s Blades and The Providence of Fire.
UK Publisher -Pan MacMillan
Imprint – Tor
Pages – 656
Date Released – March 24th 2016
Signed Copies – Goldsboro Books (Sold Out)
Lowest Price – Amazon £13.60
ISBN – 9780230770454
Length of time to read – A long time (I will explain.)
Character POV’s – Adare, Kaden, Valyn, Gwenna
Favourite Character – Skullsworn Assassin Pyrre for her optimism, wit and passion for killing.
“I suppose it would be too much to hope,”Pyrre said, “that one or both of you might have spent the past year studying something other than pottery or fellatio?” The assassin raised an eyebrow. “No?” She let out a long sigh. “I guess we’ll stick with the same plan as last time, then.” “You run as fast as you can,” Pyrre replied brightly, “while I kill people.”
Wow, where to start after finishing The Last Mortal Bond a few days ago, I have spent much time reflecting on just how well crafted this series has been, even after a few days I am little emotional and totally blown away.
The last book in a series needs to tie up all the lose ends, closing the story arcs to complete the journey of each character, playing to the same rules set throughout the series. This is not an easy task, whilst some authors such as GRRM have opened a huge world with so many POVs but then in some ways has made a somewhat daunting task closing the avenues, whilst Sanderson is able to write several series at the same time and start a cosmere. For a debut author the last book is imperative, it’s that lasting impression on the reader. It can go smoothly therefore being accepted into the fantasy genre, the goblet of fire or it can go horribly wrong.
I must thank NetGalley for sending me an advance digital copy about 3 weeks ago, however I think there was some sort of technical fault as this was very difficult to read asmanyofthewordsweremergedtogether and ere ere lots of tters issing. If reading part 3 of an epic fantasy was not puzzling enough I also had to decipher it. I knew those hundreds of hours raiding tombs with Lara croft would come in handy one day.
Gwenna was a surprise addition to the POV chapters, it was somewhat of an unexpected choice as I would have expected for Staveley to maybe keep them amongst the Malkeenian family. However Gwenna shines in the spotlight, she has the strength of character and mission to hold up a fantastically entertaining POV, where her filthy mouth is used to its full extent attempting to train those who failed the Kettral trials. Gwenna takes a particular liking to Quick Jak (bless him)
“Holy hull, You’re the washouts.”
“That’s why you know how to fight, but you’re shit at it.”
I feel the Flea would have also delivered this POV just as well but agree the balance is better with equal male/female parts. With Gwenna the opportunity opens to return to the Eyrie where Valyn underwent his Kettral training and the roots of where it all began in The Emperor’s Blades, this is a trick I feel way too many writers miss, readers like to revisit some of the early moments that made them read this far. Valyns’s Kettral training is certainly one of those moments. Furthermore we get to meet some of those who made the choice of living on Arim rather than face the Slarn in Hull’s Hole.
Gwenna’s description of the Slarn “Like some sick f**k grafted together the worst parts of a wolf, a snake and a man-sized salamander.”
Many early reviews have suggested that Gwenna has become the favourite character because of her addition and this may be justified however if I was to be critical, it would be that I feel she takes some of Valyn’s time and spotlight. After the ending of Providence of Fire I have been so desperate to see him respond to being stabbed in the back by his sister and blinded by Il Tornja. Though I am not disappointed when he appears, he’s an Arnie hybrid, half Conan, half Terminator.
“You can see?”
Kaden sits the unhewn throne but seems to have lost control and the support of the Annurian people. Even my own confidence in Kaden begins to dwindle, as even I can understand Adare’s frustration towards her brother and I am not shall we say her biggest fan after her exploits in PoF.
“My father told me something once. I haven’t forgotten it: If the people are foolish, he said, it is because their leader has failed them.”
Adare is still trying to convince Kaden that Il Tornja is defending Annur, whilst Kaden believes all Il Tornja wants is to destroy the God of pain Meshkent hidden inside the body of Urghul leader Longfist. Triste still waits in the palace dungeon host to Goddess Sienna, whilst Il Tornja and Meshkent are using their powers and armies to cause as much havoc and death as possible, not too mention the sadistic kettral-trained leach Balendin who only grows stronger as more people fear him.
“Your Kettral leach…he is twisted,””Twisted,” Valyn growled. “We’re all f**king twisted.”
Staveley does everything right with this trilogy. His ideas were clever and plot twisting and unpredictable. I was taken aback by how many characters I had got to know by the end of TLMB and genuinely cared about, even the motives of enemies were somewhat reasonable. An exceptional Epic Fantasy Trilogy with an emotionally charged finale and a satisfying end. (For some.)
If there is one thing we can be sure of…
it is not unlikely to be happy families and a fairytale tale ending.
A HUGE Thank you and a round of applause to Brian Staveley for his hard work and I thoroughly look forward to more of your work.
@Skinny878 will be happy, there is an altar
If you enjoyed this series I would highly recommend The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan @BrianTMcClellan. Similar style with muskets.
If you not only love reading books but collecting them too, please visit my webpage, where I currently have a set of The Powder Mage Trilogy Signed First Editions and will shortly have The Unhewn Throne Trilogy Signed & Numbered x100 First Edition set available. http://thefantasybookcollector.com
About the Author – After teaching literature, philosophy, history, and religion for more than a decide, Brian began writing epic fantasy. His first book, The Emperor’s Blades, published by Tor UK, is the start of his series, Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne. Tor.com has released the first seven chapters as a teaser that can be found here: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/11/read-the-emperors-blades-by-brian-staveley.
Brian lives on a steep dirt road in the mountains of southern Vermont, where he divides his time between fathering, writing, husbanding, splitting wood, skiing, and adventuring, not necessarily in that order. The second book in the series, The Providence of Fire, will be released in January, 2015. Brian can be found on twitter at @brianstaveley, facebook as brianstaveley, and Google+ as Brian Staveley.