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In this final episode of the Children of the Bard, Matt Bannister carries the corpse of his twin sister, Lauren, into Abbadin's Lair, the wellspring of resurrection power. Along with Listener, he hopes to solve the mystery of this sacred chamber and restore Lauren's life. When he reads from Abbadon's secret resurrection book, disaster strikes, and he and Listener are forced to seek a different path where they are faced with another catastrophe--an ice form laced with a villain's potion that threatens to kill every inhabitant in Second Eden.
In the meantime, Marilyn Bannister seeks a way to enter Second Eden. She must restore the great dragon Clefspeare so that he can battle Arramos, the draconic manifestation of Satan. Arramos has been capturing and killing children as a way to bring God's wrath upon the Earth, and only Clefspeare is powerful enough to stop him.
Transporting Clefspeare into Second Eden is possible, and only Sapphira Adi, the great Oracle of Fire, is able to open the secret portal to that world. While in the midst of apocalyptic destruction, Sapphira, Elam, Billy, Bonnie, Walter, and Ashley battle Arramos as he tries to thwart their plans and enter Second Eden himself. His goal? Complete annihilation of that world.
Heroes and heroines fight evil in order to save helpless innocents from Arramos as he kills, maims, and destroys. All seems lost against the unholy terror, and their only hope is the restoration of Clefspeare, the Omega Dragon.
Series: Children of the Bard (Book 4)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Living Ink Books (March 20, 2015)
Page Count: 512 pages
The time has come. Billy's and Bonnie's journey is finally coming to an end.
What I liked: Everything in this series and the past series featuring Billy and Bonnie are coming to a head. The plot was pretty good. Lots of surprises as per usual with Mr. Davis. It was interesting bringing the End of Days elements. I didn't expect that. There was an especially large amount of allegories in this installment which was interesting.
I liked that in this book there was lots of shipping going on. Bonnie and Billy were really cute together along with Carly and Adam and Listener and Matt. We also get to see more original cast descendants which was really cool. Gabriel's daughter is so cute! I also like that Lauren has so many powers now. It's pretty cool. ^ ^
Considering the baddie is Satan incarnate--literally--he's a worth opponent and as characteristic to Lucifer will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals. And he has a flock of Drone creatures and corrupted humans at his disposal. Though frankly, I feared Tamiel more. He has really interesting shape-shifting powers. And Mardon is very creepy.
There are definitely many epic elements what with living swamps, portals, dream oracles, fire-wielding women, and plane fights. I loved the Incredible Hulk reference included.
One spiritual takeaway I found was about Lauren kicking herself for past mistakes. This is a big struggle for me and I liked that pointed out as something to be conquered.
At least the ending went well. I started to lose faith in Mr. Davis about halfway in, but it ended well at least. Very bittersweet.
What I didn't like: Mr. Davis really went on a killing spree in this book and it got irritating. At least six name characters died. The book felt a bit depressing with the End of Days and so many deaths. It felt like too much. At least Bonnie felt a bit unsettled about the soldier's death. It seems like everyone else takes every death but loved ones and children in stride. Though her resigning to the earth's destruction, I couldn't quite accept. Maybe it's a personal thing, but I have some trouble about the world ending and just accepting it.
And unfortunately, Listener never become my favorite person. She was too unfeeling for me, though I'm glad she finally got called out for needlessly killing a guy in From the Mouth of Elijah. I also wish Billy used his fire. He got trigger-happy instead.
|Whippin' out this bad boy again.|
Content Cautions: There is PG-13-level violence during the battle scenes. Some soldiers commit suicide right in front of the main characters and many young children are slaughtered. There is a pornography reference, but none is shown.
I feel like I should have enjoyed this book more but I didn't. I'm normally a diehard Davis fan. Maybe it's because many of the elements included disturbed me like the End of Days thing which is a personal iffy point for me right now. I don't know. Perhaps I'll enjoy this book more after rereading it someday, but for now unfortunately I give it 3-3.5 stars.
Bryan Davis is the author of the following young adult fantasy series: Dragons in our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Echoes from the Edge, and Dragons of Starlight. He also wrote I Know Why the Angels dance, a contemporary novel for adults.
After laboring as a computer geek for 20 years, Bryan followed a dream to become an author. He began by writing a story to motivate his seven children to gain some excitement about writing, and that story grew into a novel. After spending the next eight years learning the craft and enduring more than 200 rejections from publishers and agents, he broke through with his best-selling series Dragons in our Midst. He is now a full-time author and lives with his wife, Susie, and their children in western Tennessee.
You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and his website! I also have an interview with him I had on the blog!
Check out the reviews for the other books of the series:
I've reviewed several other books by this author: