I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. No other consideration was offered, expected or received.
The point of view in this book changes back and forth with each chapter (between Taralie and Alex). This is a little uncomfortable at times, but gives you a good look on what is going on with Taralie (now no longer Tara) inside her mind and how Alex is handling it all. The first glimpse into Taralie's mind is quite powerful and sad at the same time, but throughout the story we watch her come back from the evil that is now in her mind and take on the Noricum. They may have been turned to vampires, but they will always be Milunfran witches at heart and I like how the characters prove that in this story.
The intelligence, the planning, the outsmarting – on both sides – really makes for a great read. And the battle scene at the end is just wow, but at the same time, a little too easy. It was harder to get to that part than it was to actually go through that part. This book is like the last Lord of the Rings movie – right when you think it's over, there is more to come. The ending is beautiful, the epilogue sugary sweet (but not in a bad way). In fact, the ending made the whole trilogy that much better.
In the first review, I mentioned that I wasn't so sure about the romances. I have to say now that I am glad they happened. It gave them reasons to be – and the way their relationships are treated at the end of the book (and in the epilogue) was unexpected, but completely enjoyed. They were always a family, from the very beginning, and no one was going to tear them apart.
This review has been one of the hardest ones for me to write – and I went to some friends on BookLikes to get their opinions on how they would handle this. You see, as much as I loved this book, I was also very disappointed. This third book was an Advanced Readers Copy (Amazon doesn't like the acronym and I understand why – if you're not in the book world, you don't know what it means) and book bloggers love these things – you just feel important when an author sends you out a book that isn't even published yet, especially when it's a book in a series you've been following or the latest book by your favorite author. These are not usually the final copy – they get the readers' opinions about anything that needs to be changed and then send it back for a final edit. I've received these before and they usually have a couple of misspelled words or punctuation issues, BUT this book had MAJOR editing problems, sometimes making it hard to read. In all honesty, no matter how much I liked the book, the fact that an author sent this out for people to review is heartbreaking because, along with the missing words that have been noticeable in now all three books, there were a lot of sentences that began one way, then began a different way without removing the first way (does that make sense?) AND several parts that I had to go back and re-read because a character was called by the wrong name. THE WRONG NAME?!?! That is a biggie and should have been fixed before sending it out for a review. It's even more of a biggie when it happens in an epic fight scene. Indie and self-published authors want to be taken seriously and, in doing so, they need to take themselves seriously. This book should have never gone out to review, even if they had told me it was an unedited copy (I looked back and see that nowhere). Am I saying don't read this book or this series? NOT in the slightest!! I definitely think that the series should be read, especially if you were not a fan of Twilight's shimmery shimmery shimmery vampires – and even if you were – but I can only review what I read (not something I've never seen), and in this case I read a poorly edited book that had the potential of being a 5 star one.
Favorite character: The two that became part of their family in the end. You would have never expected them to do so, but that they did was very special.
Favorite part: "TENTACLE!" haha hahaha *snort* I love Cora!!
Favorite line: "I want to face my Goliath so I may be reminded David is alive in me. If I must be defeated in a battle, I wish it to be by powers much greater than myself. The defeat itself will make me larger than when I arrived. I long for the encounter that will empower me with dignity and honor."
"This is what happiness is. Good people unhinged by ego and united under a common purpose. Their character makes them equal."