Title: Fall of Thrones and Thorns
Series: Threats of Sky and Sea (#3)
Author: Jennifer Ellision
Release Date: September 27, 2016
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MY RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS. AN AMAZING CONCLUSION TO A LACKLUSTER SERIES. RECOMMENDED.
War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.
After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.
And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.
The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.
Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.
In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.
And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.
Fall of Thrones and Thorns was a lovely surprise; the action was intense, the plot was well-structured, the characters came alive, and the narrative was sharp, focused, and well-written. A vast improvement over the previous two books in the series, the world of Jennifer Ellision’s elementals finally shines, creating a story worth reading and maybe even worth waiting for.
Overall, I think the greatest aspect of this novel are the characters. Bree is feisty, determined, and finally sympathetic; Aleta is fierce and strong, but hopeful, and broken in all the right ways. Caden is a strong leader and a sweet love interest, while Tregle contrasts him with a darker side and a darker history, but as a more passionate lover. Meddie is snarky and surprisingly wicked; Liam is endearingly sweet while still being all-business, all-class. Lilia and Elena are left a little more in the background, but still stand apart as empowered female characters, unafraid to fight and absolutely unwilling to back down.
The battle scenes in this novel are also an impressive improvement over the last two books, adding tension and stakes to a series that always felt like it had none. There is finally a sense of real danger for the characters you’ve come to care for, and in a narrative carried almost exclusively by the main and supporting cast, it’s both refreshing and exhilarating to finally worry about who might actually die before the series is over.
As for the setting, the island city of Nereidium, introduced at last in this book, is a lush, Ancient Greek/Roman-inspired location, with togas and temples and an acropolis. It’s a country with its own history and religion, and feels more fleshed-out and immersive than any other place we’ve been introduced to throughout the series. It’s almost a pity we didn’t spend the entire book there, as it is easily the most beautiful and best described location in the entirety of this trilogy, but in the very least, your attachment to the island does heighten your sense of danger, as a loss for Bree and her friends will also mean a loss of Nereidium and its people.
All of that being said, there are, of course, a number of plot holes and inconsistencies with the novel, but for once, they do not overpower the story itself. I think Ms. Ellision could benefit from a sharp-eyed line editor, because many of the worst problems in the series are the result of a careless throwaway line, or a scenario that almost makes sense (save for some element of plain ridiculousness, like half the army somehow finding new clothes to disguise themselves with despite being in the middle of a desert, or Meddie being able to sneak through the city wall by moving loose rocks).
This series has been a bit of a bumpy ride, but if you enjoyed the first two books in the series, you will adore the last one. It is everything the other two books seemed to promise you: it’s explosive, dangerous, high-stakes, and emotional. It’s a story about empowered women leading a revolution and empowered men doing the same; it’s a story about friendship and forgiveness and love and determination. It’s a story as sweet as it is surprisingly devastating, with a setting that finally feels real and lush. You’ll actually laugh once or twice, and sweat for maybe half the book, worried about characters that finally transform from loose silhouettes to endearing, fully-fleshed people, with major and minor romances that are so adorable you don’t even care that it’s embarrassingly convenient. I can’t say the series is worth it if you didn’t like the first book, but if you stuck it out, your patience will be rewarded tenfold with a novel that is leagues better than its previous counterparts, and with an ending that does everything great about this book absolute justice.
About the Author
Jennifer Ellision was born and raised in South Florida and lives in perpetual fear of temperatures below 60F. She spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She has an OTP, loves character analysis, and is a master of the fangirl flail, with a particular soft spot for fanfiction. She frequently bursts into song (and they are often of a Disney persuasion). Sailor Moon is one of her favorite things on this planet.
Threats of Sky and Sea is her first novel.
She also blogs at The Bevy Bibliotheque, where she talks about books, TV, movies, and other things that she goes fangirl over. For review requests or blog inquiries, please visit http://www.thebevybibliotheque.net to contact the blogger who best suits your request.