I’ve started the reviews a bit late this year unfortunately, mostly down to a combination of busy personal circumstances, ill health and continuing issues with my mental health. But I thought that I would start the year in much the same way as I did last year and read a book from the Ordshaw series, especially given that I was part of its book tour launch last year.
After the conflict with the grugulochs and blue screens that almost caused the collapse of both the humans’ Ministry of Environmental Energy and the Fae Transitional City, Pax is hoping to keep a low profile while she attends a high profile poker tournament and waits to hear what has become of her Fae friend Letty. But now that she’s aggravated the monsters both above and below ground, it’s only a matter of time before everything comes to a head for a final explosive showdown.
So, after Blue Angel I had some pretty high expectations about this final part of the Ordshaw trilogy, and I was not disappointed. The tone fits nicely between those set up by Under Ordshaw and Blue Angel. It returns to the higher tension of the first book, but with the additional political angle that was introduced in the second and a better understanding of what exactly it is that Pax and her allies are facing.
The main thing that I found myself enjoying was the increased focus on Fae society. Letty and other Fae that she had interacted with previously have, for the most part, been outsiders to the FTC, so it was nice to see what it is that they are in contrast to. Turns out that it’s the sort of late-stage capitalism drudgery and corruption that I love to see fall in fiction, so you can imagine that there were some good eat-the-rich moments where Letty’s sub-plot was concerned.
With regards to characters, there was some interesting progress made in character arcs, a lot of which I wasn’t necessarily expecting. Most gratifying for me was Pax, who finally gets her moment of agency and being able to actively choose to go through with the craziness. It’s kind of a small thing, but it makes everything that follows that bit more awesome. Letty is still my favourite, and she gets to be both in her element and wildly out of her depth with all the Fae politics, so that was entertaining at least. The most surprising were Casaria and Sam Ward, who have a weird reversal of roles from the last book. While I did love Casaria’s whole agent of chaos role previously, it wasn’t something that he’d necessarily be able to continue. And while there’s a part of me that’s kind of sad that it ended, I thought that his arc in this book was well thought-out and was still satisfying despite my preferences.
A thoroughly satisfying end to a very entertaining trilogy. It brings together all the big loose ends and leaves some room for possible follow-ups. But if this were the last of it, I could personally feel satisfied. A definite recommendation for some alternative urban fantasy. 5/5
Next review: The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi: Homecoming by Kelvyn Fernandes