Review: The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley

Summary

The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own.

But the three imperial siblings at the heart of it all–Valyn, Adare, and Kaden–come to understand that even if they survive the holocaust unleashed on their world, there may be no reconciling their conflicting visions of the future.

My thoughts

The Last Mortal Bond is one hell of an ending and easily my favorite book in the series. I’ve been a huge fan of The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne right from the start, but it only got better with each book up to this amazing finale, that still has me reeling, trying to cope with all the feels.

One of the reasons (and the most crucial one) why I love this series so much are the characters. Brian Staveley knows how to write not only fleshed out characters that couldn’t feel more real, but also how to let them grow and change. The character growth you see in this series is phenomenal. I’ve rarely seen characters changing and being changed by different events in such drastic ways while staying true to who they are but also becoming more. The Last Mortal Bond took my favorite characters to places I didn’t see coming and it was fascinating to watch what they would make of those.

The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne has some of my all-time favorite characters, which isn’t a feat, considering how this series doesn’t have a single character that I didn’t find fascinating. This series excels at showing that everyone can be strong and that strength comes in many different ways. I loved that all these characters make such a mixed group of strength, that some are physically strong and good at fighting, while others are great at scheming and making political decisions, and none of those gender-specific but mixed as well. This series features many great female characters and from different age groups at that, which I couldn’t be more excited about, while also being quite diverse in general, specifically regarding race/skin color. The Last Mortal Bond and the whole series in general is a prime example of how you should write characters in fantasy and outshines many other fantasy books I’ve read before.  

It’s not just the characters themselves but also their interactions that I love a lot, especially the siblings dynamics in The Last Mortal Bond. These siblings are what drew me to the series in the first place and seeing how their relationships changed from being kids to adults but also from book one to the third and last had me filled with feels for their tragic situation. It was both interesting and sad to see family not trust each other and even purposefully work against each other. 

Brian Staveley doesn’t just know how to write great characters though, but a damn fine story too. With so many parties from different sides with different agendas, and an overall situation that seems utterly hopeless, I had absolutely no idea where and how this would end. From start to finish, I was at the edge of my seat, hoping it won’t just end with every single character being dead, leading to me being deeply impressed by the actual ending, unable to cope with all the feels, and not wanting it to be over.

With The Last Mortal Bond, one of my favorite series came to an end and while I couldn’t be more sad about this trilogy being over, I also couldn’t be more happy about how good it was. Brian Staveley’s books get better and better, leading up to this epic conclusion filled with an exciting plot that keeps you guessing, and diverse and fully fleshed out characters who have come so far since book one.

More books by Brian Staveley

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