Last to Rise is the final book in a trilogy (all published in 2013), and I’m sorry to say that I never read the first two books. This was a review copy, provided by the publisher. I figure that if the publisher thinks it’s fine to read only the last book, then that’s what I’ll do. But I always felt a little behind while reading this. That I wasn’t ‘in’ on the story that was central to getting to this point.
That said, I found the characters and the world-building extremely well-crafted and enticing. Despite feeling ‘behind,’ I kept reading because I wanted to learn more about the blending of magic and science. I also found the gritty world, built up, out of a valley where social status is literally equivalent to the physical living status to be very intriguing. It’s a perfect set-up for a civil revolution. The city (Mahala) is as much a character in this book as the human kind. This was an area that I suspect we learned more about in previous books.
The use of magic is certainly not new in fantasy (in fact it’s hard to find a book without it!) but the idea that using one’s magic actually causes pain in the user, is a new and quite wonderful concept. (Okay, I now anticipate my blog readers sending me emails about all the other times it’s been used, trying to show me how much I don’t know!)
The characters themselves, particularly our main character, Rojan Dizon, seem unique and perfectly suited to this fantastic world. Here again, though, I felt as though the crucial information about who he is, came in the earlier books. I recognize that authors need to find that right balance of not boring the readers of early novels with reduntant information, but informing the new readers of all that’s necessary.
There’s a lot to admire here, but I think it would behoove anyone considering this, to check out the earlier part of the trilogy first. I know I intend to do so.
Looking for a good book? Wonderful world-building and characters make this a strong book, but check out the first two parts of the trilogy before making the journey.
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Last to Rise
author: Francis Knight
series: Rojan Dizon #3
paperback, 288 pages