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ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.
Cover art illustrated by: Crystal Ben
Voidbreaker by David Dalglish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Keepers (Book #3 of 3)
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Pages: 513 pages (Paperback edition)
Published: 11th February 2021 by Orbit (UK) and 9th February 2021 by Orbit (US)
Great conclusion to The Keepers trilogy; such a hugely underrated series.
This is a bit unrelated to the review, but finishing Voidbreaker made me realize that I haven’t finished reading a series in half a year. That’s insane; I really need to work on finishing a series more often like I used to. Voidbreaker is the final book in The Keepers trilogy by David Dalglish, and finishing it made me remember how much I loved reading a satisfying conclusion to a series.
Plot-wise, there isn’t much left to say here. This is the final book of a trilogy, and the story continues immediately from where Ravencaller ended. Judging from how the previous book ended, I did expect that the story will immediately rack in the tension, and don’t get me wrong, tensions and pulse-pounding moments were still there, but I’m glad that characterizations and developments remained the most integral element in this concluding installment. Once again, I wish there was a recap of the previous books or—at least—glossary of characters to remind readers what happened before. It’s 2021 already, and I’m honestly annoyed that this still hasn’t become a norm in a series; this is why sometimes I buy the books first but doesn’t read them until the series is done. This way, I can enjoy reading the books to the fullest rather than spending hundreds of pages trying to remember who’s who and what happened before in every sequel I read. I mean, it has been 100+ novels since I’ve read Ravencaller, and if it weren’t due to the detailed note of what happened before that my friend— Nils—wrote herself and showed to me, it would’ve taken me even longer to remember things. Fortunately, the focus on characterizations, dialogues, and relationships did make me remember the necessary details and feel invested in the characters again.
“I have a million words, so many I wish to say that they tie my tongue and clog my throat. I want to tell you that you are loved. I want to tell you that you are worthy. I want to spend hours soothing your hurt and banishing your loneliness so that you never again believe you are undeserving of happiness. We were not made to suffer. We were not born for sorrow. I would speak a thousand hours of joy, if you only you would believe me as I spoke them.”
Now, did Dalglish nailed the conclusion of this book? I’ll say yes, but with a caveat, and it’s one that I know the author can understand. Whether it’s dialogues or small skirmishes, there were plenty of intense moments throughout the entire book. This is the third book by Dalglish I’ve read, and I’ve come to really love reading Dalglish’s action sequences. Seriously, he’s one of the better skilled battle-scene writers in the genre. If I was asked to describe the final confrontation in Voidbreaker with one word, I will answer it with the word chaotic. It was pulse-pounding, compelling, and insane. I’m not kidding, there were so many things going on; the power of darkness, devastating magic, terrifying monsters, and practically everything in the trilogy came head to head in the final few chapters. However, I did feel that the “everyone’s banding together to fight the big baddies” moment felt a bit forced because some of the participants came out of nowhere. And whether it’s intentional or not, I have to say that Lyra is one of the most idiotic goddesses I’ve ever read in a fantasy novel; every line of reasoning she mentioned just made her stupider and stupider. It’s shocking to me that someone that dumb is a goddess.
“History erases the ugliness of our heroes. Our sermons elevate the righteous while diminishing their failures.”
As to the caveat I mentioned earlier, I loved how satisfying the final chapters were, and this was proven even further in the epilogue. But despite how satisfying it felt, Dalglish utilized a “deus-ex-machina” execution to pull off the epilogue, and I’m usually not a fan of this. Then I read the author’s note that came after the epilogue, and reading Dalglish’s reasonings to do that has earned him my approval for the ending. And you know what? Maybe that’s indeed what the story and the world needs. We all know that sometimes bad things happen for no reason, right? Who says good things can’t be the same?
Voidbreaker and The Keepers trilogy may not be treading any new ground in the genre, but if you want an engrossing fantasy trilogy about love, kindness, hope, cooperation, and faith, you can’t go wrong with choosing this series to read. I have a good feeling I would’ve loved this trilogy even more if I binged read it. I know that I’ve failed to walk the talk regarding reading Dalglish’s previous books—I still plan to do that one day—before this trilogy ended, but considering how much I enjoyed reading this trilogy, allow me to instead conclude this review by saying that Bladed Faith—Dalglish’s upcoming book in a completely new series—is now one of my most anticipated book releases. And I plan to read that immediately the moment it appeared on my doorstep/kindle.
The Keepers: 13/15 stars
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