Synopsis: Seventeen years have passed since Yim, an ex-slave blessed by the benevolent goddess Karm, sacrificed her body—and perhaps her very soul—to Lord Bahl, avatar of the evil Devourer. In that selfless act, Yim stripped Lord Bahl of his power but became pregnant with his son. Now that son, Froan, is a young man. And though Yim has raised him in the remote Grey Fens and kept him ignorant of his past, the taint of the Devourer is in his blood. Even now an eldritch call goes out—and the slumbering shadow stirs in Froan’s blood, calling to him in a voice that cannot be denied. Armed with a dark magic he barely understands, Froan sets out to claim his destiny. When Yim seeks to stop him, her sole hope is that Honus—the love she abandoned—will take up the sword again for Karm’s sake and hers. Only then can she hope to face the impregnable bastion of unspeakable evil: the Iron Palace. (from the back of the book)
Review: The is the last in Howell's The Shadowed Path trilogy, and is an excellent closer to the series. The struggle Yim has with the darkness inside and out is well crafted. Honus, Froan, Cara - all struggle and some prevail. I can't say much more without giving away the plot.
One thing I found intriguing was the frequent Christian metaphors used: the goddess as both divine and mortal; the goddess who created the world but gave it's creatures free will; the idea of love being the only thing to overcome darkness. I have no idea what religion Howell ascribes too, but I found this recurring theme interesting. As a Christian, it made me wonder.
I would also say I was please with how Howell handled the sex scenes. They were not graphic or crass or TMI. Even the violence and gore weren't graphic, but enough to give the idea without being gratuitous.
My only complaint is I feel more time could have been spent on how Honus moves from anger to faith instead of the pages of "camping and walking and trudging". Still, this didn't diminish the overall story. This series overall is an excellent example of solid story telling, with rich characters, complex plot, intrigue and deeper message. Worth the time to read.
Bookmarks: 7 of 10
Date Finished: 3-2-2011