Endsinger by Jay Kristoff (St.Martin’s Press, Nov. 25th,2014)-So, once again Kristoff yanked my heart out of my chest, stomped on it a few times, and then smeared it all over the floor. It was a mess. Seriously.
That said, if you haven’t discovered this trilogy yet, now’s the time to get on it, because you can grab all three and binge read. To bring you up to date in a very basic way, civil war is looming in Shima, and Yukiko is trying to gather as much help as she can, including the arishitora, from whom Buruu is estranged. The rebels seek to destroy the blood lotus that has ravaged the land, corrupted so many, and taken so many lives. It’s time for the people to take the land back.
There is so much that I just don’t want to say in this review, because it would ruin it. However, if you’ve read the previous two books (Stormdancer and Kinslayer), you know the awesome that is Yukiko and Buruu, and what their bond is like (Yukiko can communicate telepathically with just about all living things), and also what Yukiko has at stake. Just wait until you meet the rest of the arishitora (the thunder tigers.) Remember, Yukiko’s beloved Kin has returned to the Guild for…reasons, and the Guild is about to unleash their terrifying Earthcrusher, a clockwork behemoth built only to destroy. You know you loved to hate Hito, and he’s part of the fight against the civil war, but come on, you know Kristoff makes characters that are extremely complicated, so be sure to keep an open mind.
Here’s what you can expect from the final (sob) entry into what, for me, is one of the best fantasy trilogies, hell, one of the best trilogies, period, that I’ve ever read: Some of the bloodiest, most vivid, battle scenes you’ll ever read; old friends (Hana, Yoshi, Michi, Akihito, Kin, more) as well as new ones joining in the fray; more thunder tigers than you can shake a fist at (sorry, couldn’t help it); so many revelations that your head will spin; new alliances, sacrifice, demons (really scary ones)!!, and, of course, the emotional impact that Kristoff is so damn good at. Yukiko and Buruu’s story is indeed the stuff of legend, but other characters are also given fully fleshed out, and sometimes tragic, stories, and in Endsinger, Hana and Yoshi are especially at the forefront. For me, these characters have become old friends, and saying goodbye was really, really hard. There was weeping, but don’t take that as a bad thing. Endsinger is an immensely rich and satisfying conclusion to an extraordinary story about ordinary heroes. But, those are the best kind, don’t you think?
Jay Kristoff’s imagination is twisted, warped, and scary good (I mean all that in the best way.) I’m first in line for whatever he writes next.