The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#22
This was Mistborn the original trilogy all over again. Strong first book, uannoying second book and pretty much annoying first half of the final one.

BE WARNED: Everything below contains heavy spoilers from all over the trilogy, so if you are not finished, better skip my post.



Brian Staveley needed three morons as leads, a far-fetched characters as Balandine, and a nation of 400 000 morons on horses to get his story going and running. If that is not cheap and tasteless plotting, I don't know what is

Adere - the one woman character who managed to annoy me more than Egwene Al`Vere ever did. Her decision making was beyond ridiculous for pretty much most of the time.

Kadon... every coin needs another side, and he is the other side of Adere, but almost as ridiculous decision making on his part as hers. Not killing Triste`s father in the end of book one, going to the Shins instead to his capital at the start of book two, and checking the Ishin building after he sprung the trap on both of his enemies... Putting the only person who have helped him out of free will into torture, then hiding, then danger ( the Shin vs Emeprials ambush), then prison after saving his life for yet another time and then trying to make her kill herself... Who does that?

In Adere`s case she trust most of the ones she shouldn't, in Kadon`s case he doesn't trust to the ones he should trust most. One coin, two moronic sides.

I won't comment on Valyn and his love making with the Urghul woman. Hand down for the most fantasmagoric plot in the fantasy literature. I am not sure that Brian Staveley knows how human body works and that there are things like only as many litres of blood in them, and the fact that in any medieval setting those two would've been dead of infection, if not of blood loss. That wasn't Valyn`s solely moronic choice, but lets say I needed to make a point be being the only one I am mentioning. I guess I did commented on Valyn`s love making with the urghul girl after all. Well, it needed to be said.

Balandinte surviving in book one while falling of a cliff, in order to become the arch and overly powerful enemy in books two and three - yeah, no one figured out that onee from the moment his death wasn't comfirmed in book one, bravo Brian, you are a genious.

And the Urghul nation... as I said - 400 000 morons. I mean - even the trollocs in WoT were smarter and more real than those. A nation worshiping torture - okay. A nation consumed in constant mutilation of their bodies - year, sure, blood loss and infections are just myths in their world. But the coolest thing was how they are decimated at the end of the trilogy as nobody`s business. 50 men keeping 30 000 for 4-5 days. Okay, far-fetched, but possible. But 3 000 capital defenders killing 400 000 urghul horsemen juse because they have barricades and the high ground - yeah, totally plausable.

And there I was thinking the movie 300 the most ridiculous thing ever.

Now... despite all of those writing atrocities - I liked the series somehow. I would even go as far as giving it 8/10. So somehow I still managed to enjoy it despite all of its story flaws. And maybe this is why I am so annoyed by Brian Staveley. He has it in him to write good fantasy, he actually does it. But he should give more thought on what exactly are his characters doing and if he isn't going a little bit over the believebility line. I know it's fantasy and anything can happen, but come on - you keep injuring your characters, but when it suits you they are suddenly immune to the world?

To be honest it's strange how 3 000 people manage to kill 400 000 people who are used to lose galons of blood on daily basis. Maybe he should write another trilogy explaining that.

 
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Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#23
Just finished this last night.

I felt this was the weakest of the books but I loved the ending.

Like @ExTended I really hated Adare and her chapters in this book annoyed the hell out of me. I did enjoy most of the rest of it though. Gwenna was by far my favorite character through the series. I would like for Staveley to do a book about her.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#24
I really hated Adare and her chapters in this book annoyed the hell out of me
I am only like 4 or 5 chapters in and I am already sick of her.
 

Kalavan

Journeyed there and back again
#26
I felt this was the weakest of the books but I loved the ending.
Same here, I had quite high expectations after The Providence of Fire, but unfortunately this final book mostly didn't deliver, and the finale, as good as it was, was not enough in my opinion to compensate all the previous short-comings: idiotic decisions and inconsistency of some characters, at times driven unrealistically by the needs of the plot, the repetitiveness of some scenes (Gwenna annoyed with the cowardice of the wash-out flyer, Adare worrying about her son or about how to protect her subjects - that read like a clumsy and extremely unsuccessful attempt to make us like her, care for her - yeah, no fucking way).
And again the rushed and unsatisfactory way in which Balendin and il Tornja
were disposed of, one conveniently inattentive in front of a Kettral strike, the other, the supposed tactical genius, pointlessly trapping himself in a tower
and Gwenna's storyline. I actually liked very much both her and her side plot, but it felt too disjointed from the rest of the book, I think it would have worked better as a stand-alone novel.

In spite of all of the above, I must admit that Staveley definitely knows how to write, no matter how annoyed I was with the three moron brothers while I was reading I was also completely captivated and engrossed, and the finale was brilliant, despite this final book this trilogy is one of the most interesting recent series, a must-read, and I'm looking forward to Staveley's next project.
I just hope - as I've already said last year in the Providence of Fire's thread - that it will take place in a completely new setting - unless it's focused on the Kettrall's rebuild

EDIT: To add a rating - 6,5


I actually thought the first book was the best (maybe because it was the one were Adare was the least annoying...)
Actually, she was plenty annoying since the beginning. She just had much less screen time in the first book ;)
 
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#27
I really liked the trilogy, especially books 1 and 2. While I also liked this last one I would have to say its the weakest of the 3 - thats not to say its bad, just not as good as the others.
Like its been mentioned - there was a lot of potential here. The Atmani or that race the Csestrrim fought before the humans (Nevariim I think) could have been explored more but it just feels wasted right now. And while I really like Gwenna I felt it was a mistake giving her a POV - that just took screen time away from the best character in the series - Valyn (who really had too little to do in this book and thats one of the reasons the book isnt as good as its predecessors).
Finally the ending - definitely not a fan.
Ideally if one of the 3 siblings had to die it should have been Adare - and preferably at the hands of Valyn which takes him down a darker path, turning him into an anti-hero, while Kaden becomes the emperor.
And btw it was also complete horse shit that Valyn decides to run off and spend the rest of his life with the torture loving savages.
Also did someone else feel that Valyn had become the avatar of Hull (I was convinced of it for most of the book)? Maybe that's another path the author could have taken

Book - 7.5/10
Series - 8/10
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#28
Yeah, I definitely thought this book was the weakest of the 3. Adare definitely super annoying.

I would like to see a one off book with Gwenna as main protagonist getting the Eyrie back into action, find some more Kettrals to get a breeding program. Maybe she has to fly to a different land and interbreed with someone similar..I dunno.

The ending was definitely rushed and everyone kinda just died.

Book 3 was probably 7.9, the really loved the first two, so this one was definitely disappointing. Maybe a 8.5 for the series.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#29
Just finished this FINALLY ... I can't remember it taking me so long to finish a book. And I blame the first 400 pages, which were pretty tedious. Overall I'd give this 6/10. It was enjoyable enough at times, but I found it extremely 'run of the mill', and whilst Staveley is a good story teller, I don't think he's a particularly good 'adult' writer ........... see here ......
where Staveley truly shines is in the prose, which has now been elevated to an almost poetic level
I couldn't disagree more with this statement. Staveley's writing is extremely basic imo, and reads like YA, but with token ill-placed F and C bombs thrown in randomly. I found all of his characters too similar as well ... the distinction in temperament and personality was completely lacking.

Like @Darth Tater I think this will be one that fades from my memory rather quickly. It's an ok series, but not one I'd recommend over many others.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#30
And something that made me laugh (not in a good way .. it was meant to be serious) ....... is that all it took for both Valyn and Kaden to do what they had to do to save the world etc, was receive a good seeing to by their respective love interests. I mean .. come on ....
 
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Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#31
And another thing that made me laugh (not in a good way .. it was meant to be serious) ....... is that all it took for both Valyn and Kaden to do what they had to do to save the world etc, was receive a good seeing to by their respective love interests. I mean .. come on ....

Why is it that these people start off so well and "peter out" at the finish? I highly recommended this series to a friend earlier and now I feel :oops:
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#32
And another thing that made me laugh (not in a good way .. it was meant to be serious) ....... is that all it took for both Valyn and Kaden to do what they had to do to save the world etc, was receive a good seeing to by their respective love interests. I mean .. come on ....
As someone with a long distance relationship, that feels completely realistic :p

I'm really on the fence as to whether to invest in this series. I liked the sample chapters I saw on tor, but... hrm.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#33
As someone with a long distance relationship, that feels completely realistic :p

I'm really on the fence as to whether to invest sin this series. I liked the sample chapters l lIu'o Ysaw on tor, but... hrm.

My opinion. Sure. Go ahead and invest the time to begin the series. You'll really enjoy book 1. After book 2 you won't be quite as pleased as you were with it as you were with book 1 but will still eagerly await book 3 and hope it is a lot more similar to book 1 than book 2 was. Then after book 3 you'll wonder if you actually enjoyed book 1 as much as you remembered or perhaps got it confused with another series?? Pass. Not exacly bad but there are much better fantasy series out there. ;)
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#34
You nail it in the last sentence, I think. If there are much better fantasy series out there, and I certainly haven't read them all... I think I'll book up book 1 at a convenient moment and read that and that alone.
 

Travis

Might as well be a Malazan regular
#35
You nail it in the last sentence, I think. If there are much better fantasy series out there, and I certainly haven't read them all... I think I'll book up book 1 at a convenient moment and read that and that alone.
Reiterating with my own 2 cents here. Book 1 is a great read. Book 2 was okay and book 3 was okay. I think you can definitely get by reading only book 1. you'll have a nice time - not too long of a read and then you can stop. Then you have the option to continue if you really feel invested.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#36
I still enjoyed the series quite a bit. Book 1 was my favourite. Not much Adare but a lot of Kaden and Valyn who I loved.
Then book 2 comes and we get more Adare who can be a bit annoying. Kaden has some very boring political parts and isn't as interesting. Valyn is still cool despite a couple questionable decisions.
Then book 3 starts up with incredibly annoying Adare whose character I simply don't understand. She's supposed to be the smart one and yet her mouth and her actions make her look like an idiot and the first 100 pages are a struggle. I still enjoyed Valyn a lot and Kaden had some good moments. I don't think the writing is YA myself.

There is a lot to enjoy with this series, even if it won't rank with the greatest of all time. Definitely worth reading imo.
 

Travis

Might as well be a Malazan regular
#37
I don't think the writing is YA myself.
I almost feel like there needs to be a new category for what his writing is....because on the one hand at times it can be YA-ish, and yet, it does still feel like it's not quite YA. It's somewhere in the middle, oddly enough.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#38
I almost feel like there needs to be a new category for what his writing is....because on the one hand at times it can be YA-ish, and yet, it does still feel like it's not quite YA. It's somewhere in the middle, oddly enough.

I never felt like it was borderline YA. I just didn't like what I perceived as some dumb and illogical decision mentioned in a previous post. I rooted for the main characters but didn't care much for some. I felt Adere was a power hungry cold wench, Kaden was nice but boring. Valyn and his group was interesting. Again, I loved the Gwenna chapters. I liked the flea a lot. Why do so many authors drop the ball in the middle and/or the end? Maybe they need to give it two years between novels instead of one. Although, when they take six that is ridiculous.
 

Travis

Might as well be a Malazan regular
#39
I never felt like it was borderline YA. I just didn't like what I perceived as some dumb and illogical decision mentioned in a previous post. I rooted for the main characters but didn't care much for some. I felt Adere was a power hungry cold wench, Kaden was nice but boring. Valyn and his group was interesting. Again, I loved the Gwenna chapters. I liked the flea a lot. Why do so many authors drop the ball in the middle and/or the end? Maybe they need to give it two years between novels instead of one. Although, when they take six that is ridiculous.
I guess for me it just has to do with the age of the characters. That angsty teen quality I guess. I don't think YA = inherently bad though. And I think Staveley did a good job with Valyn, okay job with Kaden, and kind of a crap job with Adare. Gwenna was sweet too (let's be honest, I loved almost all of the kettral). If he had focused on the kettral only, I think he could have made it a badass ongoing series.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#40
I didn't think it was borderline YA, it's obvious that Staveley didn't intend that. But I do think Staveley is a mediocre writer who has absolutely no depth or complexity to his writing, which is why I compared it to a YA book where you wouldn't expect that.