Book Review: Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter
Author: Rachel E. Carter
Series: The Black Mage
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Genre: YA, high fantasy, romance, magic
SYNOPSIS (FROM GOODREADS):
The epic conclusion to the Black Mage Series.
I received a free copy for an honest review.
Before you read you must understand that this review contains lots of spoilers. DO NOT READ THE REVIEW IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK YET AND DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED.
The book picked up right after Candidate, after the wedding between Darren and Ryiah. Ryiah finally figured out the truth, and how Blayne was basically behind everything - from how it was him who poisoned his father King Lucius to how he single-handedly started the war that would kill thousands just for his amusement (in a way). Ryiah was in pieces, and she was struggling to hold herself together. Everything was falling apart. Ryiah now is a traitor both to the crown and in a way to the rebels. She's trying to save the world all by herself (literally).
But before we dive into the world of cruelty and misery Rachel so kindly created for us to suffer through, can we just give a moment of appreciation to the new covers? They're gorgeous! But as one of the original fans, the original covers will always have a special place in my heart.
Since the book started right after when the last book left off, we don't have to revise what happened last and is able to start right away. I really felt bad for Darren this book. We can see through all four books how he evolved, and how Ryiah was vital in the way he changed and improved. Both characters are strong, but before it was Ryiah who stood by his sides in need when he lost his father Eve and other people, and now the positions have switched and we were shown to a side of Darren we never even knew existed until now.
At first, I was always wondering why Ryiah just doesn't accept it and follow Blayne; at least for the sake of Darren. But then Ryiah explained how Blayne is just adding her to his plan now but would turn Darren against her the first chance her gets in order to get rid of her.
The entire plan an overachiever, just the whole idea of Ryiah trying to save the world by herself just gives me headaches. She's sneaking off to meet with the Commander of the rebels, with the enemy, and she has to seduce Darren in order to get information out of him. And it' hurts more than anything when Ryiah was caught, and the hurt we see from Darren is just literary clawing us from inside and out. Reading this book cannot be healthy for me both physically and emotionally.
I also absolutely loved how Ryiah made Darren torture her because he hates (love) her, but we can still see how much it pains him and it's more in a way him punishing himself. They always said that you can never stop loving someone, and the only way is to hate them, right?
The whole situation was so out of control, I actually was just like 'oh, well I guess there's going to be the fifth book now' because there was no way you could tell all though problems could be solved.
Even though I'm a little bit grumpy about the ending because the ideal one would be Darren and Ryiah becoming king and queen of Jerar, but as long as they can be together (and with an adorable daughter named Eve), the fact of them having a happily ever after is already a miracle so I didn't complain.
Either way, I'm still impressed by how Rachel managed to wrap it all up and still managed to give it an HEA. Even though I been through hell while reading this book, I still enjoyed it. As the conclusion for one of my absolute favorite series it did not disapoint, so five strong stars, it totally deserved it!