Marchetta, known for her mastery of character, shows herself here to have conquered the intricacies of plot, worldbuilding and theme…Readers will have a hard time forgetting the complex, deeply human characters that populate this multifaceted narrative.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Marchetta triumphantly concludes the trilogy that began with Finnikin of the Rock, as the kingdoms of Lumatere and Charyn attempt to bridge past atrocities through a new generation of leaders…One of the hallmarks of this series has been the complexity and attention Marchetta gives to both primary and secondary characters, creating a richly human cast of damaged but noble individuals…Readers who have fallen in love with Quintana, Froi, Finnikin, Isaboe, and others will eagerly seek out what fate has in store for them.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The plot is more straightforward, while the previous volumes’ excellent features—world-building, plotting, and characterization—continue to shine. Marchetta builds on the reader’s knowledge of this world, adding rich sensory details to enhance the sense of place…A stand-out fantasy series.
—Booklist (starred review)
[T]he book will mesmerize readers with several hair-raising moments that ratchet up tension; memorably detailed descriptions provide vivid images of the setting; and Marchetta’s themes of belonging and forgiveness are powerfully wrought. Fans of Megan Whelan Turner and Elizabeth Wein should find this exceptional series especially compelling.
—The Horn Book