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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed conclusion to a fantasy trilogy, 12 July 2014
This review is from: Last to Rise: Book 3 of the Rojan Dizon Novels (Paperback)
It's several weeks after BEFORE THE FALL. Mahala is besieged by the Storad army whose giant siege engines batter the stone doors and which is helped by the former head of the Specials, Dench, in identifying the secret tunnels that run into the city. Rojan and Pasha are looking for more pain mages to help them keep the Glow going so that the factories can keep churning out guns but the people are running out of food and Mahala's neighbours, the Mishans are restricting who and what can come in and out of their gate. Even worse, Perak can't control the Cardinals, who are trying to save their own skins by calling for Rojan to be handed over to the Storads. Although Lise is developing a weapon that could turn the siege in Mahala's favour, work is slow and time running out ...

The conclusion to Francis Knight's ROJAN DIZON TRILOGY is a mixed affair that offers great ideas and plot twists but doesn't close off all the strands and is let down by some loose writing and needless repetition. The book's a fitting finale for Rojan, a reluctant hero haunted by how his actions have harmed the city and teetering on the edge of the black that could destroy him and I enjoyed the resolution of his relationships with Pasha, Jake, Petak and Erlat. I also believed in the splits within the Cardinals and Ministry as they seek to make deals with the Mishans and Storads to save themselves and Perak's inability to control them. However, I didn't believe in Mahala's uncoordinated response to the siege and was frustrated by the fact that the tunnels take so long to come into play and didn't have a great pay off. There's also a heavy reliance on characters not sharing their plans in an artificial attempt to maintain tension and a lot of repetition of facts, while Rojan's narration with its heavy use of tangents can be a little irritating at times. That said, this has been a solid debut trilogy overall and I look forward to seeing what Knight writes next.

The bittersweet ending is particularly fitting given the dark themes of the trilogy and while I expected some character deaths, others were a surprise. All in all, Knight is shaping up to be an interesting fantasy writer and I look forward to her next book.
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