Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Star rating: 5 stars Series: yes - final book in trilogy
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for VIPER and VENOM*
We are all one misstep away from being the villain…
Marianne has passed the ultimate test required to be a Mage. She is finally powerful enough to reunite the Twelve Isles.
But having exposed herself to the darker side of magic, Marianne is struggling. The magic within her is nearly impossible to control, and she becomes cruel and violent, mercilessly pursuing those who have harmed her in the past, ignoring the pleas of those closest to her to remember what’s really important: saving the islands.
Everything she’s fought for has come down to this. Will Marianne be able to fulfil her promise to bring peace to the islands when she can’t even bring peace to herself?
Conquer the darkness. Control the magic. Save the Isles.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads, Add to your shelves here.
After the gut-punch ending of VENOM, a year was a long time to wait for VULTURE – which is why I buddy read this book in a day. It’s a hard book to put down as this is the final showdown, and Bex has shown, since rather early on in the first book, that she is not afraid to make you like a character only to brutally murder them.
The body count for this book is impressive. Impressive, and terrifying. I am always pleased, on a writing and story level, when an author has the guts to kill off so many characters, to not pull any punches with who gets hurt and how – and how finally. On an emotional reader level, my heart wants to protest and demand medical attention!
A decent death toll makes a big battle feel realistic (in so far as a big battle with magic can!) If there’s no real cost, and everyone gets through a battle unscathed, then it undercuts the tension and doesn’t pay off the stakes established. And this series establishes that there is a cost to everything. VULTURE is not a book that falls into that disappointing category as no one is safe.
There are a lot of battles, but they’re spread across a variety of locations and circumstances to differentiate them so they don’t get repetitive. Particularly loved the Pirates of the Caribbean-esque battle – it’s a sequence that works so well visually as well as emotionally.
A lot happens in the book (that blurb barely covers the first act!) but the villain is GOOD. I like a nice big bad, who’s mostly just evil without lots of time spent setting up a sob story. There’s just something so fun and satisfying about good versus evil, and the hero(ine) having to decide where the line is that divides them from the baddie. And whether it’s worth stepping over that line for the greater good.
A trilogy I am sad to see end, though it was absolutely the ending the series deserved. Now to eagerly await whatever Bex writes next!
Read my reviews of other books by Bex Hogan:
The Isles of Storm and Sorrow (this series):