The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley

btkong

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#1
This ones looks very, very good. It's one of the most anticipated fantasy books of 2016, and the book I'm most looking forward to plowing through. The other two books have been some of the best epic fantasy of the decade, so there's a lot of high hopes the concluding volume will do it right.

Review to come in a week or so.
 

Haven

Became a Faceless Man
#2
I got this last evening, and (inadvisably) spent most of the evening and wee hours of the morning ploughing through this book.

Definitely worth it.

This book brings to a close one of the better fantasy series out there to have come out in the past 3 years (Seems like only yesterday that I read Emperor's Blades, how time flies).

Staveley closes out his series in spectacular fashion, holding nothing back. All the characters both loved and loathed, return once again in what is arguably their greatest showing so far.
Adare's political machinations, Valyn's return to civilization, Kaden's struggle to find and fight the actual battles, and the return of the Gwenna, Talal and Annick to the Kettral after the
events in the previous books, are some of the major POVs and driving events in this book, and these are for the most part, masterfully done.

There is plenty of blood and gore for those who wish it, along with brilliant world building. But where Staveley truly shines is in the prose, which has now been elevated to an almost poetic level. The sheer wordplay and descriptions yank you by the collar and drag you in, and it is one of the great joys of reading this book.

Surprisingly, the ending also managed to live up to (most) of my expectations. Bittersweet and final, this closes out the rollercoaster ride.

The book is not without it flaws however..some plot devices are frankly ridiculous, others are repeated in almost every exchange and the ending sequence feels slightly more rushed than required, with some revelations which I felt could have definitely come earlier.

However, these can easily be overlooked when compared to the masterpiece that is the rest of the novel.

Rating: 9/10, A must read
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I've been seeing a lot about this book recently and most of it very positive. Which is the first in the series? I'll check them out.
 

Andrew.J

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
#5
I really liked it. The final chapters of the book are some of the most beautiful and powerful fiction I've read this year. Breathtaking and bittersweet. The ending really struck a chord in me and resonated deeply. I'm really a sucker for emotional stuff. The book isn't without flaws, of course. But to me they're overshadowed by the series finale.
 
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EnglishmanInLyon

A farm boy with a sword
#6
A great read and a fantastic end to the trilogy, really brought all of the work from the last two books together and gave an interesting and well-deserved ending to these characters. Definitely a trilogy that I need to go back and read at some point in the next few months.

8/10
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#7
I really enjoyed the final book. There are a couple plots throughout the series that I questioned a bit in terms of being realistic or not. But nothing glaring enough to bug me and not repeated enough either.

This fantasy series was just a very solid trilogy. It's nothing earth shattering original but the Kettral was a cool twist. Brian's fantasy version of the Navy Seals. The magic is understated with a twist as well. This final book gets better from start to finish and I couldn't stop reading as I neared the end. Enough mystery to push you forward and a bittersweet finale that satisfies.

My only beefs were the overly political parts of the series. The focus on the Republic in book two wasn't as interesting for Kaden and in this final book the political arena and Adare's character were annoying early on. I really disliked Adare's character at times. She didn't act bright or mature and it grated on me. But thankfully as Valyn was introduced the story picked up and the ball started rolling. I really did like the world building and lore built throughout.

I'd say this final book was as good as the second although I think the first book was my favourite. A solid 8/10 for this book and 8.5/10 for the trilogy imo. Definitely worth reading for any fantasy fan.
 
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rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#8
A few questions:

1. Why on earth did the Eyrie leader risk leaving Gwenna alive? That was a weak plot point as any questioning of her clearly wasn't worth the risk imo.
2. They asked the question of why they waited to kill Kaden after the banquet in the first book. That always seemed odd but did Adiv simply want Kaden to get Triste pregnant before killing him?
3. My memory is shaky but why again was il Tornja trying to kill off the Malkeenians in the first book? First the dad and then the sons but if his ultimate goal was to kill Meshkent and destroy humans how did this help? I can't remember the reasoning. Did Adiv want to sit the Throne as a blood relative?
 

btkong

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#9
Finally finished the audiobook (it was 29 hours and change in length).

Overall, an excellent trilogy -- one of the better fantasy trilogies to come out the past few years. It's nothing ground breaking for the genre (say like Erikson's works, A Song of Ice and Fire, or The Name of the Wind), but it does tell the traditional epic fantasy very well.

I lost several nights sleeping finishing this book and I was never bored the whole way through. One of those books / series that you just won't put down until it's said and done.

Parts do drag sometimes, especially with the heavy politics that impede some of the narrative flow. But there's also a lot of action and the pacing is very quick overall.

I'd rate the final book a solid 8.2 and the series itself about 8.5. This book was better than the first book, though I felt, not as good as the second book, even if the characterization was more developed in this book and there was a lot more action.

There were some plot twists and I was a bit surprised at the bitter sweet ending. Things are resolved, but everyone pays a hefty price for it. The body count by the end is high too -- there are winners and there are some real losers.

Overall, a tale well told. The writing is very strong, the worldbuilding very imaginative, great action, interesting and very well developed characters, a mystery that slowly is unravelled, and a bittersweet yet powerful finale to the series.

I enjoyed the ending, but was also saddened by the bittersweetness of it. But it's a fitting end.

I was especially surprised that Caden and Triste did not survive by the end. I felt a bit disappointed that Staveley pretty much just built these characters up as sacrificial lambs, especially considering a good 1/3 of the entire trilogy was devoted to Caden, who's destiney was simply to die by the end of it. But, it goes with the tone of the trilogy -- everything comes with a price. I do respect the author's choice for not coming up with cheap solution where everyone lives happily ever after, even it was a bit depressing.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#10
Finally finished the audiobook (it was 29 hours and change in length).

Overall, an excellent trilogy -- one of the better fantasy trilogies to come out the past few years. It's nothing ground breaking for the genre (say like Erikson's works, A Song of Ice and Fire, or The Name of the Wind), but it does tell the traditional epic fantasy very well.

I lost several nights sleeping finishing this book and I was never bored the whole way through. One of those books / series that you just won't put down until it's said and done.

Parts do drag sometimes, especially with the heavy politics that impede some of the narrative flow. But there's also a lot of action and the pacing is very quick overall.

I'd rate the final book a solid 8.2 and the series itself about 8.5. This book was better than the first book, though I felt, not as good as the second book, even if the characterization was more developed in this book and there was a lot more action.

There were some plot twists and I was a bit surprised at the bitter sweet ending. Things are resolved, but everyone pays a hefty price for it. The body count by the end is high too -- there are winners and there are some real losers.

Overall, a tale well told. The writing is very strong, the worldbuilding very imaginative, great action, interesting and very well developed characters, a mystery that slowly is unravelled, and a bittersweet yet powerful finale to the series.

I enjoyed the ending, but was also saddened by the bittersweetness of it. But it's a fitting end.

I was especially surprised that Caden and Triste did not survive by the end. I felt a bit disappointed that Staveley pretty much just built these characters up as sacrificial lambs, especially considering a good 1/3 of the entire trilogy was devoted to Caden, who's destiney was simply to die by the end of it. But, it goes with the tone of the trilogy -- everything comes with a price. I do respect the author's choice for not coming up with cheap solution where everyone lives happily ever after, even it was a bit depressing.

Totally agree on the bittersweet ending stuff in your spoiler. It rather ruined it for me. I feel like so many authors screw up at the end.

Agree on your rating. It's funny. I'm always the odd bird here. When the vast majority of people like certain books in a series better than others I am almost always the opposite. When they like the last book best I like it least. And vice versa. Makes me feel like my tastes aren't sophisticated enough or up to par.

My favorite character by far was Gwenna. I loved her cussing while Nira's tptally got on my last nerve. The former seemed so natural while the other seemed forced and filthy just for the sake of being crude. It didn't offend me but it just got so old and boring.

Balendin was a hateful sick sick puppy. I want to say something else but I forgot how to do the spoiler warning in my absence. Somebody taught me how to do it once but I forgot. Would somebody please remind me. Talk like you would to a 12 year old from the 1970's who knows nothing more about computers than operating a hand held calculator please. I'm so technologically challenged although I feel like I've improved lot ms over the years. . IIRC the majority of you are young (at least by my standards) so you can do this stuff without even being taught.
 

Andrew.J

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
#12
@Darth Tater
For a simple spoiler tag: [boiler]your spoiler goes here[/boiler]
If you want to name your spoiler tag: [boiler=spoiler tag name]spoiler goes here[/boiler]
All boilers here equal spoilers, though not all spoilers - boilers
 

Haven

Became a Faceless Man
#14
I enjoyed the ending, but was also saddened by the bittersweetness of it. But it's a fitting end.
I actually appreciate endings like this. It's a much harder path to take, but I've read way too many series in which authors somehow pull out a utopia after 3 books of bloodshed.

Victory comes at a cost, and that cost should be reflected in the endings.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#15
The end was bittersweet but it had to be that way imo.

If they all lived and got their dream, Kaden living happily ever after with Triste, Adare the cherished emperor and Valyn healed and married to Gwenna it would have reeked of simple fairy tales and it would have been unrealistic and annoying. Sometimes what the heart wants is different from the brain. It was a sad ending but a fitting one.

I really liked nira. Cursing and all. Old hag with some bite!
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#16
I liked the character of Nira it was just her cussing wore thin with me. She would go out of her way to be disgusting even when the situation didn't call for it.

Long

I felt like Valyn would die and I liked him better than Kaden but felt he should be the dead one. Or Adare was kind of a selfish brat. Kaden was a good guy who only cared about his country, people, and world. . He and Triste would have had a chance at happiness after going through hell. IMO if anyone d"deserved" to die it was Adare at the hands of Il Tornja maybe. I liked Valyn the best but love by the sword die by it. Kaden and Triste didn't deserve it. Yes, REAL life isn't always fair but I wanted Kaden to live in the FANTASY world as he and Triste "deserved" it most. I thought the book was very good but not great. I felt like the ending COULD and SHOULD be different. I would have felt a little better about the entire series. But I read fantasy for escape. For me, a fairy tale ending works sometimes. Why can't todays "sophisticated" reader feel good at the end? But what do I know? To each his own. :)

By the way. I liked that Annick killed Baledin should have shot Baledin in the stomach and one in his groin too so he could suffer a horrible death. n arrow to the eye was too humane. But I guess he could do more damage in his last hours so it wouldn't have worked. It was cool how she shed tears for once. She must have been in love with (Amy?) the hooker Balendin tortured early on.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#17
oh rating ...for this particular book...I did like the book and the series but didn't love it. Like I wasn't itching for it like Abrahams Spiders War (why can't I find the thread to rate that btw) . . I don't know how to explain this other than to say I just finished it a few days ago but I've already forgotten much. The entire series was well written but nothing new or special to me. So forgettable. But I WOULD recommend it. I dunno
I thought the entire gods thing was kinda dumb and a bit confusing and the flea and Valyn abandoning and running out on Huutsuu and the soldiers was uncharacteristic (the excuse they couldn't swim the river was ridiculous. Give them a chance to decide that and why not leave the previous night?? Yeah, I knew Gwenna loved Valyn from book one when she yelled at him for not being strapped in. So it is confirmed she loves him in her thoughts at the end but then it goes absolutely nowhere.
. So I guess I'm missing sonething or being too picky. I would give the book an 8.0. The series 8.3
 
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Andrew.J

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
#18
I wanted more depth to the world and more substance in the form of world building and history. I was really disappointed by a lack of Atmani, and Oshi and Nira backstory. That's a lot of wasted potential here, in my opinion, the few flashbacks we had were brilliant.
As for the ending, I loved it. Bittersweet endings are the best kind of endings.
I have no problems with the conclusion of the story. The end of Triste and Kaden was very beautiful to me personally. Oshi and Nira embracing each other in death was too very touching.
 

Aliphera

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
#19
Just finished the book, which I would rate 8/10. I actually thought the first book was the best (maybe because it was the one were Adare was the least annoying...), but I still think that the trilogy as a whole was very good.
I feel a bit confused after reading this thread. I thought that Kaden and Triste survived, since it was mentioned multiple times that the body buried in the Malkeenian grave valley was not actually Kaden's but il Tornjas. So the body was not Kaden's, but Kaden still died? Why would they not bury Kaden in the Malkeenian grave valley then?
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#20
Just finished the book, which I would rate 8/10. I actually thought the first book was the best (maybe because it was the one were Adare was the least annoying...), but I still think that the trilogy as a whole was very good.
I feel a bit confused after reading this thread. I thought that Kaden and Triste survived, since it was mentioned multiple times that the body buried in the Malkeenian grave valley was not actually Kaden's but il Tornjas. So the body was not Kaden's, but Kaden still died? Why would they not bury Kaden in the Malkeenian grave valley then?
They burned the bodies up there and just used il Tornjas body for the ceremony. Kaden and Triste are dead.