Always Forever (Age of Misrule) Paperback – 1 Jul 2009
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The ancient gods of Celtic mythology have returned, and all that stands between them and complete domination are five flawed mortals --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Mark Chadbourn is the critically acclaimed author of the novels Underground, Nocturne, and Scissorman, as well as the nonfiction work Testimony. He has worked as a journalist for a number of British national newspapers, magazines, and television.
Visit Mark Chadbourn's Web site at www.markchadbourn.net
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Top customer reviews
So many questions still lay unanswered from the first two books and so many options for the five main characters seem to have been closed, but we are dealing with legends and folktales here so anything could happen.
Always Forever is a great read and a great finale for this series. I don't want to give too much away for those who haven't read it but Church, Ruth, Ryan, Shavi and Laura have a battle of a lifetime ahead, even after all the trials that they have endured during the first two novels. Some characters are the same as the previous books, others take on a new cast, though I was a little surprised that Laura chilled out as much as she did. However, given what she endured, it was definately a life changing experience.
The references to the UK's own mythology and folklore are still there ( that research must have taken AGES!) and King Arthur does appear ( in one form or another) so I was happy. You'd be surprised how much within the book are real legends, if that's not an oxymoron?!
The ending rounds off quite afew loose ends ( who or what was the instrument used by the Tuatha to murder the nearest and dearest, why Niamh has followed Church through his life, who is the traitor - which is obvious when you think about it ) and it opens a possibility of a follow on series. You'll see what I mean.
All in all, fantastic story, thanks to Mark for a great, thought provoking read and I wish we had more fabulous beasts around.
If you've read the first two volumes of this tale then you won't need to know anything other than it's everything you hoped for!
The Evil God Balor has set up his nest in the heart of London, his dark forces are ravaging the countryside, Great Britain has been thrown back into a new dark age and beyond. All that stands between us and the darkness are the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, heroes of prophecy who are our only hope. The only problem is all five must face the enemy at the end, however two of them have already paid the ultimate sacrifice at the end of book two leaving only three to continue the fight. So the war is lost already surely? But in this book, nothing is what it seems....
It seems pointless to spoil the plot because you will enjoy every page turning moment of it. Church, Veitch, Ruth, Laura and Shavi have entered my own personal hall of great fictional heroes and despite what I said about liking trilogies and trilogies alone, a second series would be a very welcome addition to my bookshelves and the last few pages hint that may be exactly what the author has in mind.
If you have got to the end of this review only to now tell me you haven't even read book one! Then what are you waiting for, Book one World's End awaits and you can look forward to three books of high adventure, drama, horror and heroes. While for me, I shall just have to content myself with re-reading them, until Mark Chadbourn takes me into his world again with his next exciting adventure.
Times seem dark for a world altered by the return of the old Gods and the old demons - the beings known as Fomorii have brought about the return of Balor, the Heart of Shadows, the source of all evil, and by the Celtic festival of Samhain - also known as Hallowe'en - his return to full power will mark the End of Everything. The Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, humanity's guardians against the old powers, are scattered and broken, some missing and some presumed dead from a terrible battle. As the five attempt to bring themselves back to full strength, each of them undertake a mission to reunite and gain the backing of the Tuatha de Danann, the only beings able to help them against the Fomorii. And not everyone will survive.
After the catastrophic events of Darkest Hour, I wasn't at first sure how there could be any story at all in Always Forever - the premise can be summed up in the words 'Everyone's doomed.' But somehow hope is restored as the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons heal themselves and reunite for a final, cataclysmic battle so huge it takes several chapters - which is entirely worth it.
All the questions raised in World's End and Darkest Hour are answered here - the true manipulators of the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, the one who will in the end betray them, the one who will die - and everything is tied up without seeming silly or rushed.
Each of the characters reaches the potential that the Blue Fire encapsulates, as Church embraces her destiny, Ruth grows into the Wiccan power she was destined for, Shavi takes a step towards his personal redemption, Ryan becomes a finely-honed warrior and Laura finally learns to be at peace with herself and the world. This results in a book that seems different to the other two because the characters have taken on such changes, but at the same time there is a thread running through them that remains true to their original values.
The final moments of the book add another, massive twist that tells you that the story of this changed world is far from over, in such an audacious piece of plotting that it literally took my breath away.
As stated in the title, this book is simply magnificent. I just can't wait for The Dark Age sequence, which continues the story of this world gone mad.
As long as Mark Chadbourn keeps writing, I will keep reading. This man is a genius and should be declared a national treasure.
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