*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Once again what grips me at the beginning of this fantasy story is the descriptions. Wow. I know fantasy books are detailed, but Craig's ability to make these descriptions lifelike and unique is breathtaking. Craig does NOT linger on things, he describes them and moves on as they relate to what's in the moment and scene. The first description we open with is awe striking, the vision of the city and the crystal tear. The crystal tear is what gripped me.
Susannah. I want to applaud you. This is one amazing narration. Susannah has amazed me through out this series. Susannah may use subtle differences but they speak loudly. Each character has their own heart and drive and it comes through in Susannah's voice. One thing I find amazing in a narrator is when I don't hear them. That sounds wrong to say, but in the essence it's that their narration IS the story and the characters. Susannah does this. The story speaks loudly through her and she lets it. Amazing job.
The story is told from numerous POV's. BUT! Hold on. Don't let that discourage you. The story follows a straight line, giving you all the information that fits together even though it's from different view points. It's easy to follow and it's great to see all sides of a working plan. To see who's planning what and how it's affected by another's plan. We know the spokes of that plan wheel and see how it all pans out for all involved. And who wins and why. So awesome! Of the POV's he have, we get to spend lots of time with our favorites from the series - Amadeo, Livia, Cardinal Marchello Accorsi, Felix, Renata, Mari, Owl, and many more.
I was so excited to get back into this world and everyone's corrupted stories. I had to know who would fall the hardest, and to witness it all happen. I found I wanted to yell at the characters, telling the ones I love that it's a trap, he lied! But it wouldn't help.
For me, this book feels a lot like Renata's book. Dang that woman has grown. She's brilliant and full of ideas to sneak around. She's really learned quick and changed. Felix has really grown as well. We saw him start down his dark path in the last book, and he continues there. But there could be one light that keeps him from fully drowning in the dark, Renata.
We follow the characters through their lives. For many these are their darkest days. We lose a few along the way, but in the paths they follow it's the only ending they could have.
This book is...just... wow. Craig does an amazing job of taking us through the end of the book and then some, tying up all threads. I had to take a few days to digest all I experienced in this book. Wow.