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I have reviewed the first two books of this trilogy. The first book is The Key, which you can read HERE, and the second is Red, which you can read HERE. I will have a few spoilers in this review, but I will warn you before you can read them.
So first and foremost, if you have gotten this far in the series that means you know the worst part of the first two books… THE CLIFFHANGERS! As soon as I finished Red, I had to start War right away. It was already 10pm, and I was tired, and I had to get up early, but I read it anyway because the cliffhanger just draws you back in. I am happy that the end of the third book didn’t have some twist and end in a cliffhanger… thank the Book Gods for this being the last in the series! I don’t think my sleep schedule could have taken it.
Another love: Nathenek (AKA “Captain”). Every time there was an interaction between him and Rema, I was grinning like and idiot. They were by far my favorite parts of the book. I don’t know if I loved him because he was kind of a badass, or because he actually had a sense of honor, or what. What I DO know is that I wanted Rema to throw Darmik out the window and fall into Nathenek’s arms so they could live happily ever after. SPOILER: I was thoroughly disappointed when it didn’t happen (not that I thought it really would… there was too much foundation between Rema and Darmik to just throw it all out the window… But still!!) I kind of hope to see a spin off series that has Nathenek as the main character; I would love to see the world from his eyes.
BIT OF A SPOILER HERE: Another think I enjoyed was seeing Darmik and Rema together again. As much as I love Nathenek, Darmik has earned my trust at this point and I wanted Rema to get the happily ever after she deserved. I like how accepting Darmik was of Rema’s new status. He didn’t want either of the crowns for himself, although he could have fought for them. I expected more of an inner conflict about all this new information that was thrown at him concerning Rema, but he didn’t even flinch. In the end, all of the tiny things that made Darmik Darmik made me accept him as Rema’s True Love once and for all… Sorry Nathenek! As a side note, I also loved the fact that Darmik was the Emperor’s illegitimate son. It explained so much; mainly why he was treated like crap going up by the man he THOUGHT was his father. It was a interesting and unexpected twist.
Now for some of the things I didn’t love so much. The biggest issue I had with this conclusion to the trilogy was that it was very rushed. It definitely could have used at least 50-100 extra pages. Additionally, while changing perspectives from Darmik and Rema, I think the timeline gets a little muddled up… and if it doesn’t, then I was definitely just confused. I had to go back and reread to make sure I understood certain things correctly. Lastly, most of the story takes place in the sandy empire, rather than their home country. I wanted to see more of the civil war between the tyrant and the rebels! I wanted to see Darmik fight his brother and father more. I wanted Darmik to confront his father about how he treated him all this time. We see a bit of it at the end, but it was very rushed.
In comparison, the pros outweigh the cons by far. The cons that do exist are mostly nit-picky things that are based on personal preference. The ending to this trilogy left me pleased and content with the story that spanned over three books. The only wish I have is that we got to see more of Nathenek from the start. I would have liked to see his development throughout the books. Maybe we will get to see a spin off series with him… CROSSING MY FINGERS! This was a great job by Jennifer Anne Davis. I suggest it to all those who love Romance, YA, Historical Fiction, Medieval Fantasy, and Swords.
I enjoyed this series but couldn't give this book as many stars as the first two books. *May contain spoilers*
Yes, we all knew that this book would end happily with Rema and Darmik together. It was good to see a heroine who knew what she wanted and followed her heart, but I think I would have liked things better if there had been some kind of romantic tension between her and Savenek or even Nathenek. Several scenes in the book when she was at the rebel compound led me to believe that even though she wasn't overly physically attracted to Savenek, she was nonetheless attracted to him. She was full of feelings of betrayal and hurt over Darmik, and I think a little romantic tension would have added more to the story.
I thought the time spent in Emperion, and especially the death of the Emperor, was rushed and too convenient. Vesha and Ellie, two females who Darmik was SO worried about being unable to handle interrogation, we tortured but magically overcame it and never spoke of it again. The emperor was quickly killed and never spoken of again. Next thing we know, Rema is on a ship back to Greenwood Island. Too convenient and rushed for my tastes.
The ending also seemed rushed and somewhat immature. Ellie rushing into a room out of breath because visitors have arrived for the coronation and to perform a marriage ceremony. The emotion seemed too extreme and put-on after everything they'd just been through.
Despite all of these "flaws" which are my personal opinion, I am thrilled to have found a new author who can write so well! It is certainly rare these days and I am looking forward to what's next to come, perhaps a spin-off?
This was a fantastic series. I cannot recommend it enough.
The entire series was so well done. These three books have it all: Action, Adventure, suspense...
I also like that the story wasn't so full of dumb choices. I really get annoyed with books where the girl is always putting herself into dangerous situations and causes the drama herself. I found Rema to be independent, but she was smart. When things happened, it was beyond her control. not that she was going places she was told not to go. I thought that she fell into the role of Empress pretty quickly. Almost to quickly. Having that much responsibility so fast, I felt that she would have needed more time to adjust to giving orders. The story did become a little predictable, but it was still very enjoyable. I would certainly recommend this series and cannot wait for more from this author!
Great book, great story. I am just frustrated that so many of these trilogy authors feel like they have to rush endings. I would've really liked more detail written into the final encounter with Barjon and Lennek, especially considering how much character development there was for them in the first book. Without this, their final meeting felt anti-climactic, and lacked very much dialogue or even a good final fight (which was expected considering how much Lennek put Darmik through). Also would've liked to have read more about how people's lives fell into place after, rather than just abruptly stopping after the action. We have developed a relationship to these characters after all, we deserve a proper goodbye.
This was a really fun series to read. I thought the plot and the characters throughout were great!
My only complaint about this book is that it seemed to conclude really quickly. I thought there could have been more explanation on some of the story lines of characters (specifically Nathanek and Trell) that were very active in the beginning of this book but then took a major back role by the end of the book.
I have just finished reading 'War', the third book in the 'True Reign Series'. I have struggled with my recent purchases of ebooks. Some are so YA they are irritating. Others, I cannot relate to the style or characters. This series is refreshing - I liked or understood the characters and the bad guys were just that - nasty and oppressive, not dark lords or hosts of evil dead. This was a good, reasonably fast-paced adventure in a medieval setting. I do think these books could have been a bit longer, but I did enjoy them.
Loved the entire series but the endings were a little too neat. Each book should stand alone with detail. It should never feel as if I'm being led to another book. I love finishing a book and discovering the journey isn't over. Davis spins a wonderful tale but, they always seem cut short and leading into the next book.
Great conclusion to a good series I very much enjoyed all the characters and the detail and thought that the author put into this book. I would very much like to show this book to a lot of younger girls for the main character is a strong girl she's not weak by any means, yet still has a heart of gold