by Alwyn Hamilton
Usually I complain if a book starts out with a character list, but this is an exception as it's third in the series and reading through it triggered memories of what happened in the second book. Such lists in stand alone or first of a series are meaningless because the reader hasn't met the characters yet, but this was a good way to bring me back into the world within the story.
Within the first chapter, I was definitely back inside this amazing fantasy world and continuing from where the second book left off. The stakes are high and seemingly impossible in this third (and I believe last) book of the series. Characters we met in the second book are here or referred to, which helps trigger memories of what happened in the previous books. It's a series best read in order.
Like the previous books, it has an Arabic feel to the setting and the magic has solid rules. This is definitely one of the best Fantasy series I've read, ever. Nothing is made too easy for the heroes/rebels.
The main character, Amani, is a strong female and she is written very believably, keeping in mind we're in a world with Djinn magic! We see her inner vulnerabilities as well as her outer strength. The story is populated with an array of interesting and unique characters, both good guys and bad guys, as well as some for whom it's a matter of perspective.
There is plenty of action, especially towards the end chapters, and one scene that actually brought tears to my eyes which is rare. A story of romance is expertly woven in, but in a way that doesn't read like Romance genre.
This is one of the few series that didn't lose steam in the later books. It was written as a trilogy and ends in a way that pretty much guarantees that is really the end. As much as I love the world of magic that Hamilton created, I'm glad it wasn't drawn out beyond its natural length. I'd read parallel stories set in this world without hesitation though.
It will be interesting to see what this author does write next. She's one I will be watching for.