Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
You really need to read this as a trilogy, and I would highly recommend them if you like epic fantasy/erotic romance with graphic violence. I was so excited for this third book to come out. If I rated the trilogy as a whole, I would rate it 4.5 stars. This is the end of the story arc for our heroes’ journey.
As the magic is draining from Demonside turning it into desert, Humanside is becoming covered in ice. Book two showed the escape from Vinland to the Mayan Empire for Angus, Saka, Terrance, Wek, Lizzie, Reese, and Emma. Everyone gets separated right away. Priest Cadmael has been questioning everyone to make sure they aren’t Vinland spies. He summons up everything I didn’t like about Terrence quite nicely. But what Angus, Terrance, and Saka fell into naturally, here is ritualized. Cadmael wants to get rid of Terrance and force Angus and Saka to bond with a Mayan priest as an anchor. Forcing humans and demons as partners against their will doesn’t seem that much different to me than the College. In fact, the Mayan way might seem better, but there are still ways in which humans are exerting control over demons in everyday life.
The Mayan Empire has a much higher level of magic and are devotional about rebalancing. In the city of Uxmel, demons seem to walk the streets freely. Meanwile Saka gets to see trees, flowing water, and permanent settlements in this part of Demonside. The demons are completely different, antlered, scaled, or feathered. Mage Iktan has put Saka to work in the healer’s building, when humans crossover for help. Lest you think everything is so much better, rebalancing takes on a whole new form here with the introduction of pitz, played in large arena matches. It was previously established that emotion in the blood made it more potent, although why that isn’t being funneled into something renewable instead of beheadings, seems strange. For instance, everyone in the crowd could donate blood rather than just killing a few players. As magical attacks from Vinland increase and their system starts to break down, they are lost–not used to thinking outside the box. They also don’t care about the whole world, just on saving their tiny part of it in the controlled way they want for as long as possible.
There are also doorways created that control the flow of magic between the worlds, as well as where people can come and go–both a good and bad thing. Still, this knowledge could help the Lifeblood tribes being summoned and killed by Vinland. Cadmael askes Angus to speak to World Council of Demonology; they then decides to ban demon magic except for rebalancing. But Saka is sick of waiting for humans to do something, so the demons will try to stop the flow of magic by closing the doors. Angus has a plan to find and take all the stolen magic from Vinland and return it to Demonside. The surprise here is that after all the distrust shown to the defectors, Cadmael just goes along with this plan? After Cadmael being a central character the whole time, he is now just shuffled to the background and no longer seems in charge.
This has always been heading towards the showdown with Angus and the College to restore the magic stolen from Demonside in order to save the world. Overall, I am very happy with how I got there. I would say, I wouldn’t have minded this actually being four books. I feel there was so much detail in the first two books, that when details started to get skimmed over, especially in the last third of the story in order to rush to the conclusion, I felt a little disappointed. After waiting all this time for a love scene between Terrence, Angus, and Saka it was rushed and not quite what I hoped for. I have been a bit hard on Terrence during the course of these books and I will say, while he redeems himself here, he’s still the weak link. I finally decided that is alright; his role is not just the anchor to bring Angus back to Humanside, but to remind Angus of his humanity. He is the only one who wants Angus for Angus, not his magic. Still, I had an expectation that this would be a true triad, and I had to let go of that. There is a lot at the end that we don’t get to see, like what happened to the Lifeblood tribes? What happens when Saka goes back? So, I was left with questions and wondering if they will be told in flashbacks in another book that shows us the rebuilding. If they could take what was good about the Mayan Empire and Vinland (and what about the other nations) and merge them to make a new worldwide system, what would that look like? That’s really the highest compliment I can give: that I don’t want to let go of this world and the people in it. I will reread these.
Cover art by Catt Ford is great and I love how it connects with the story.
ebook, 280 pages
Published: November 27, 2018 by DSP Publications
Edition Language: English
Series: Studies in Demonology #3