How do I introduce you to the Elderling’s realm that has been left behind after they vanished from known existence? I could direct you to my older reviews of this series:
Or I could wax poetic about all you are to encounter in this world being introduced to us in parts. Neither might do justice to this series because it just gets progressively better. I highly recommend reading this in the order I did, with the clear understanding that one loses sight of Fitz and the Fool in every other series. I intend to begin the Rain Wild Chronicles next.
I could share screenshots of the messages I sent my friends as my eyes teared up and I raged to an empty room, but that would mean revealing crucial heart-wrenching moments so I shall refrain from that as well. Just before reading this book, I had a disappointing reaction to another third book in a series that I was very excited for, so I approached this cautiously. My fears were unfounded, although, unlike the previous instalments, I was able to set it aside and do something else till halfway through. This was not something I could do with most of the other books of the series so I had to assume this may not tug at me like those did. I was proved wrong with a vengeance. This will only make sense to those who either have read my previous reviews or the books itself, but the emotional investment in the storyline and the characters are the reason why the book can leave a mark. If none of the characters wound their way to clear a path in your heart till you get to this stage, then this would not mean as much.
We left all the characters in a precarious position in the last instalment. They are to set out on a voyage to find a dragon encased in ice and kill it. However, all are not on board with the plan and openly intend to thwart it. Those include close allies and possible future allies as well. Most of the plot occurs in the minds of the lead characters and on a barren island of ice. There are whispered plottings, double-crossing, explanations for most of our questions and Fitz’s extended family comes into the picture which bumped this book up from a pretty good read to something more. I have to state (again) I will always be queasy about Molly and Burrich and even this book’s finale does not erase the fact, but I may have been able to (slightly) ignore it after all the talking. There are a few surprise revelations in this which I did not even know I needed, and it has me all amped up to go on reading about these multi-faceted people with so much heart.