Plot: Although this is the third book in an imaginary fantasy world series, Kaptanoglu has written it both as a continuation of the story line from the first two titles and satisfyingly self-contained tale. Its account of conjurer Tessa Skye’s adventure to save the kingdom of Wilderyn and its people from the tyrannical ambitions of King Slayert of Grimslow by rising to the challenge of the Kingshackle, is suspenseful and full of surprises that set up future installments in the series.
Prose/Style: Kaptanoglu’s prose style suits the high fantasy character of her story. It accommodates both the description of fantastic transformations that punctuate the story and the physicality of the action and warfare sequences with which the novel climaxes.
Originality: The fantastic and realistic elements of Kaptanoglu’s novel are familiar to many high fantasy novels, but the way they are blended to serve the plot of this specific tale make them seem pleasingly original.
Character Development: Kaptanoglu’s characters, especially Tessa Sky, are very well drawn. Tessa and her cohort, including Calder and Ash, are sympathetic, especially in their fallibilities which often lead to unforeseen plots twists. Even her more malevolent characters, among them Ryland and the woman who presents herself as Marguerite Ratcher, have a complexity that makes their duplicitous actions understandable, if unforgivable.
Date Submitted: July 18, 2020
Kaptanoglu’s masterful pacing makes her novel a quick read... An exciting, inventive finale.