Book Review: INTO THE DYING LIGHT by Katy Rose Pool

Title in white on gold with graphics of silhouettes of people standing on breaking columns
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA/Adult (depends on territory!)
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
Series: yes - final book of trilogy

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS and AS THE SHADOW RISES*

Synopsis:

Book cover for INTO THE DYING LIGHT: title in white on purple below a green broken chain

Following the destruction of the City of Mercy, an ancient god has been resurrected and sealed inside Beru’s body. Both are at the mercy of the Prophet Pallas, who wields the god’s powers to subjugate the Six Prophetic Cities. But every day, the god grows stronger, threatening to break free and sow untold destruction.

Meanwhile, far away from Pallas Athos, Anton learns to harness his full powers as a Prophet. Armed with the truth about how the original Prophets killed the god, Anton leads Jude, Hassan, and Ephyra on a desperate quest to the edge of the world. With time running out, the group’s tenuous alliance is beset by mounting danger, tumultuous romance, and most of all by a secret that Anton is hiding: a way to destroy the god at the price of an unbearable sacrifice. But the cost of keeping that secret might be their lives—and the lives of everyone in the Six Prophetic Cities.

Synopsis taken from Godreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

INTO THE DYING LIGHT rounds off the trilogy that feels most like the classic fantasies I grew up reading. There are prophecies, ancient relics, hidden truths, and an evil god to contend with. It’s a hopeless final battle that demands a great sacrifice. It’s epic and full of twists and disasters – for the world and the characters. Plus they have to deal with the remaining emotional baggage stopping them from working together.

I think the reason it doesn’t quite feel like the books I grew up on is because of the focus on relationships. All of the leads have emotional entanglements with someone else. They might go somewhere, or not, or maybe one day, but their parts of the story all involve a lot of emotional angst and relationship will-they/won’t-they.

While there are relationships in the older books, they’re not such a focus – and I really wish in a book with 5 POVs that at least one could have been an ace- and/or arospec character. Not everyone wants relationships or intimacy, so having a large cast spending probably over a third of the book with relationship moments can be very excluding.

I do really like scenarios where the only way out, supposedly, is a sacrifice by one of them – and all the attempts to find another way. It sets up a personal stake beyond “the world is endanger” to make the ending more fraught. Save the world, or save a character you’ve had fun spending time with for several books.

That said, with big cast books and end-of-the-world stakes, I always want there to be a real cost – not for everyone to somehow survive. I’m still on the fence about whether I think there was enough of a cost. They don’t walk away completely scot-free, but I haven’t quite worked out if it feels too unbelievable about the who and how much they’re standing at the end.

Overall, it’s a very enjoyable ending to this trilogy, and one I’ll be recommending for a long time.


Read my reviews of other books by Katy Rose Pool:

The Age of Darkness (this series):

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