It sucks when a series ends in disappointment

On my TBR list: Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

I just spent WEEKS re-reading the entire Seven Realms series, then re-reading the first three books of the Shattered Realms series—all so I could read Deathcaster with the other books super fresh in my mind. Imagine my disappointment when after all that, Deathcaster ended up being my least favourite book out of all eight.

DeathcasterDeathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Shattered Realms #4
Published by: HarperTeen on March 5, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Pages: 656
Source: Gifted
Book Details
Rating: ★★★

Warrior Alyssa ana’Raisa would do anything to protect her home, the Fells, and her legacy, the Gray Wolf line. But as a prisoner of Empress Celestine, Lyss is forced to turn her fearsome talents as an army commander against her beloved homeland. Refusal would swiftly lead to her death, and her death would end the Gray Wolf line.

In Lyss’s absence, Fellsmarch Castle swarms with intrigue, deception, and a primordial threat. Destin Karn, a southern spymaster with a hidden agenda of his own, might be the queendom’s only hope of defeating the forces aligned against the Seven Realms . . . as well as the enemies within the castle.

I didn’t hate Deathcaster, but it was my least favourite book in the entire Shattered Realms (and Seven Realms) series. And that’s a pretty shitty way to end a series. You want the last book to be the best—not the worst!

At 656 pages, this was a pretty massive book. At times it felt a little too long, but I didn’t mind too much until later. My issue with it is that this book (and really the whole series) built and built and built; it felt like it was all leading up to pretty intense stuff… But then it just ended.

It’s hard to say exactly how that worked without spoilers, but I’ll try. As just one example, from the beginning, we’re led to believe that there’s a traitor somewhere. All these little clues are dropped and it becomes a bigger and bigger deal… Then suddenly the traitor is discovered and wrapped up very cleanly pretty much in one single page. It’s like there was all this build up of tension and danger, just to find out it was actually pretty easy to deal with that person. It was anti-climactic.

The whole series had a lot of different pieces—different plot lines, different dangers, etc. As the series went on, it’s almost like the author suddenly thought, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that plot line… Let’s quickly get that resolved.” Things that I thought were going to be a big deal just ended, and I was surprised that they never resurfaced. View Spoiler »

Additionally, I thought this whole book would be about Empress Celestine and that entire backstory. After all these books we still knew so little about her. But when that finally came to light, we were just given essentially a one-paragraph overview and that was it. Again: all this build up, just to be brief and anti-climactic. I do not feel like I walked away with a serious understanding of the “Nazari bloodline”. In fact, I just have more questions.

It also never really felt like our characters were in serious danger or overpowered. They achieve everything easily. By the end, I had major feelings of, “That was it? It was that easy? We’re really done here?” There were no epic battles or feelings of intense danger / desperation. It was just…. over.

Even the final wrap-up of Alyssa was just brief and disappointing.

It definitely makes me sad because I enjoyed all the other books. But the climax we were building towards never happened. This book was scattered, unfocused, and quickly tried to tie up loose ends, but it was done in a way that as just disappointing and unfulfilling. It makes me feel like all those weeks I spent re-reading were just wasted. *sigh*

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. This isn’t a series I’m familiar with, but it sure is the pits that the final book didn’t work out for you. I had that happen with a favorite author once. Every one of her books totally rocked, then a recent one seemed as if it was rushed and written by someone else. I’m still scratching my head over that one. Hope your day is amazing!

    RO recently posted: DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE LIKE THIS?
  2. I hate when the final book is a let down, it really ruins my enjoyment of a whole series and kind of ruins it. Reading your spoilers I definitely think I would have been disappointed with this final book, too. I mean, there were so many plot points that could have been and should ahve been explored and it’s like they were ended just to wrap up the story.

    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: I’m back… and things are about to change
    1. I agree—it ruins my enjoyment of the whole series too. Instead of looking back at it with fond memories, I’m kind of bitter instead!

  3. I feel you — I just did exactly the same thing with the Three Dark Crowns series and was really disappointed by Five ​Dark Fates. It just wasn’t the finale I was expecting after the prior books!

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