The New Empire intends to mark its victory over the Nationalists with a bloody celebration. On the high holiday of Wintertide, the Witch of Melengar will be burned and the Heir of Novron executed. On that same day the Empress faces a forced marriage, with a fatal accident soon to follow. The New Empire is confident in the totality of its triumph but there's just one problem - Royce and Hadrian have finally found the Heir of Novron and they have their own holiday plans.
I always worry about the endings of stories. Some authors seem content to leave so much hanging that they essentially give us a partial story or to offer us only the unhappy with the explanation and expectation that that is often the more realistic. I've never felt that is the case however as life is really a mixture of good and bad and writing a fitting ending means not having it be too heavy handed in one way or the other. That's my opinion anyways, for whatever it's worth and that being said let me get on with the actual review.
The purpose of that little rant was simply to give a little weight to my words on this last book (or last two books as it's a collection of book five and six in the 'Riyria Revelations' collection). I guess the build up is a little irrelevant when you can see the five star rating above, but to put words with the image I think Sullivan handled the end of this saga perfectly.
I wrote in my review of the first and second books that the first came off as nearly two different stand alone stories and by the second the stories blended to where we were involved in a bigger saga and even though each 'book' had it's own plot all were dependent on the other. A little bit of both applies to this last book. Certainly the story was still very much involved in the overall plot of the whole series by this point, but I was surprised at how different (perhaps "fresh") books five and six were from each other.
I won't get much more deeply into it than this overview because it focuses on the characters we are already familiar with: The duo of Hadrian and Royce as well as nearly all the supporting cast that has played big parts in the story up to this point. The magic is still dealt with in much the same way: a mysterious force that is rarely tapped and rarely understood. All of these elements are explored at their most deeply in this last book.
After all was said and done I had those mixed emotions at the end of a good story where all feels like it has played out as much as it can in an adventurous sort of way, but at the same time you don't want to leave the world and its characters behind. The ending itself was one of the few times where even the 'happy' parts brought a tear to my eye.
It's probably never a good thing to over-hype a story so I do want to add that I rate and review based upon what the story is trying to be. These books fit more into the sword and sorcery or action/adventure genre than into 'high fantasy'. If that is the sort of story you are looking for, then I don't think you can go wrong to give this 'trilogy' a try.