My rating: 2 of 5 stars
**Thank you so much to Angry Robot Books for providing me a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley for the purposes of review**
I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed.
As much as paranormal romance is not my genre, I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying the first novel of Jensen’s Malediction Trilogy. The echoes of both Beauty & the Beast and the Hades-Pesephone myth were utilized well within the interesting underground world of Trollus. Yeah, trolls. Something I’ve never seen much of in fantasy, and certainly not like this.
The second book, while it left a good deal to be desired was still entertaining; my primary objections were to its glacial pacing with little plot reward. And, at first, it looked like Ms. Jensen had completely fixed that in Warrior Witch. Things escalate rapidly at the outset of this novel and I was ready for a rip-roaring finale…until I realized that things escalated too quickly with nowhere else to go. Jensen hits a stride and then coasts there, with many things technically happening on almost every page, but with little overarching capital-P “Plot” movement.
This is a shame because it could have been an interesting story, there really could have been some neat things done within this finale. But, in terms of spoiler-free thoughts: the actual denouement was horrible. Whatever might have been good about this series was obliterated in this novel’s need to create unnecessary tension before tying it all up with a pretty bow. I’m still shaking my head because I don’t know what Jensen was attempting to accomplish with her ending — or, endings, rather, given that there are several. I always say: the ending is paramount. It’s the last thing we read, it’s the last thing we remember…and this ending was one of the worst things I have ever read, to the point that I now firmly believe this trilogy should have been a standalone novel.