Genre: Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance
Publisher: Ace on September 27, 2016
My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a digital review copy. No compensation was provided for this review, and all opinions are my own.
The bonds of family, love, and loyalty are pushed to their limits in this thrilling conclusion to the epic saga started in The Bloodbound…
As the war between Alden and Oridia draws to its conclusion, the fates of both kingdoms rest on the actions of a select group of individuals—and, of course, the unbreakable bonds of blood…
Unbeknownst to most of Alden, King Erik, in thrall to a cruel bloodbinder, is locked away in his own palace, plotting revenge. To save her king, Lady Alix must journey behind enemy lines to destroy the bloodbinder. But her quest will demand sacrifices that may be more than she can bear.
Meanwhile, as the Warlord of Oridia tightens his grip on Alden, the men Alix loves face equally deadly tasks: her husband, Liam, must run a country at war while her brother, Rig, fights a losing battle on the front lines. If any one of them fails, Alden could be lost—and, even if they succeed, their efforts may be too late to save everyone Alix holds dear…
THE BLOODSWORN delivers all the sweeping battles and romantic drama of the previous books in the series, but the stakes are higher than ever before in this final book in The Bloodbound trilogy. In the words of the inimitable Mrs. Bennet: my poor nerves!
Erin Lindsey kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the novel, and although I was able to predict a few of the plot twists I was definitely surprised more than once by the way things played out for our protagonists Alix, Liam, Eric, and Rig.
Beginning immediately after the shocking reveal at the end of book two, THE BLOODSWORN throws everyone right into the thick of things. The war between Alden and Oridia is fully underway, and the odds aren’t looking good for our Aldenian heroes. But these characters have come a long way since the first whispers of war first reached their ears, and they’ve all got a few tricks up their sleeve…
It was refreshing to see Liam finally step into a political leadership role, since his inferiority complex has been a major component of his character arc since the beginning of the series. Sure, it’s not easy being in the shadow of a respected and beloved king, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have something of his own to offer! Alix, meanwhile, has to leave behind everyone she loves – including her husband – to accomplish the impossible: infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom with only a handful of scouts and stop the bloodbinders, the dark magic workers who have Alden’s king in their sights.
Normally I’m not a big fan of books that split up the main cast of characters (that was actually my biggest criticism of book two, The Bloodforged), but I thought it was done well in this one. It actually made perfect sense for these characters to be on their own for a bit, because it gave them the range to bring disparate plot elements of the series together for the finale. Their separation also highlighted once again how well Erin Lindsey has crafted their POV chapters, as each felt unique and completely true to the respective characters. This is one of the few series where I enjoy all the POVs equally – no temptation to skim here!
Endings are tricky, especially for trilogies, but Erin Lindsey knocked it out of the park. The few plot arcs that were seemingly irrelevant to the series overall were revealed to be crucial to the war, and played out in a surprising yet satisfying way. Emotional, tense, and riveting, THE BLOODSWORN is exactly what I wanted from the series finale.
Recommended for those who like their fantasy, politicking, and battle-waging with the perfect sprinkling of romance!