The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart

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AAHHH I was so excited to get this!!

I almost never make it past book one in a series, I only do it when I truly love a series and I can’t get it out of my head — I just have to know how it ends and there simply aren’t many of them. I’ve talked about it before, but the reason for this is due to all my ‘obligatory reading’ that stems from contests like SPFBO/SPSFC that both focus on book ones or stand alones, and in addition to that the majority of my review requests are book ones as well, leaving not a lot of time for anything else. All of this is to say, if I make it to book three in a series it’s a weighty endorsement on my end since I’m purposefully pushing it into my schedule.

Because I do reviews for book twos and threes so infrequently I often struggle with what to say. When I’m doing reviews for stand alones or first in the series I’ll tell you guys all about the world, the characters, the prose, the magic system, the tropes and all that good jazz. Then you guys decide whether that sounds good to you, or not. For people who have made it to book three in a series you obviously don’t need any of that information — so what to talk about?

Endings can make or break a series. I know that I was a little nervous going into this because even if I five star all the books in a series, if the ending doesn’t do it for me it can bring the whole thing crumbling down. There were a lot of things that needed to be wrapped up, a lot of interpersonal relationships problems and tensions that needed to be resolved, and there many unanswered questions were left open from the first two books. So, I was a bit nervous this book would feel rushed, but it didn’t. It’s the longest of the three and I think it needed to be in order for it all to come together. It didn’t feel bloated, I’m very wary of super large books because if the plot meanders, so does my mind, and then I set it down maybe never to come back. But I didn’t feel it was bloated, either. It came together nicely and at a good pace.

This book picks up two years after the ending of the last book and Jovis and Lin have been separated for all that time, with her believing he’s dead. He’s not dead, but maybe sometimes he wishes he was. He’s been enslaved by Kafka through his shards and he’s being used as a weapon unwillingly. For a person like Jovis hurting or killing innocent people is a heart wrenching punishment but he’s being kept on a leash with threats to Mephi.

Sand has a pretty drastic character arc and she’s potentially the most changed from beginning to end. I didn’t like her much in the first two books, but she did grow on me a little bit here. I’ve always found her a compelling and well written character, I just didn’t *like* her and I’m not sure you were supposed to. She had a single track mind and she sacrificed her friends for her own goals. In this book she kind of realizes that maybe she’s been going at this the wrong way and has a bit of growth.

I don’t think it’s all that surprising that my favorite character was Lin, she’s a great leader, a good person, she’s got a magical talking pet, and often spends time thinking out complex problems — what’s not to love? Overall I felt like my questions were answered and that this had a strong ending that I’d think most people would enjoy.