Concluding the Night Angel Trilogy, Beyond the Shadows (2008) [US] [UK] is a great ending to a great series. While not without its faults, as I'll discuss in a bit, the characters are moving and the world fully realized, so much that I was a bit sad to be reading the end. That's always a good sign.
Now comes the blurb and spoilers if you've yet to read the prior installments...
Logan Gyre is king of Cenaria, a country under siege, with a threadbare army and little hope. He has one chance - a desperate gamble, but one that could destroy his kingdom.
In the north, the new Godking has a plan. If it comes to fruition, no one will have the power to stop him.
Kylar Stern has no choice. To save his friends - and perhaps his enemies - he must accomplish the impossible: assassinate a goddess.
Beyond the Shadows is the action-packed conclusion to the Night Angel Trilogy.
Not letting up on the fast pace, Beyond the Shadows is surprisingly even more action-packed than its predecessors. This didn't hurt the story until the very end when it felt a bit rushed as I explained here (look for "seak" at the bottom of the page).
Otherwise, I couldn't get enough. With Dorian in the north, disguised as a eunuch searching for Jenine Gyre, Vi in the Chantry learning from the Sisters and starting her own faction, Neph Dada on his own nefarious mission, and Kylar learning what his new gifts really cost him, not one section leaves you wishing you were somewhere else.
One of the things I was most impressed with was the explanation of the Krul. They were mentioned in the previous volumes only cursorily, but what a great monster. In fact, the Kalidorans in general were wonderfully realized, especially with their connection to the vir (their version of the Talent), setting up yet another moral struggle for a certain main character.
Although events leading up to the ending were a bit rushed, the ending itself was amazing. From great monsters and epic fights to poignant scenes of realization, I left satisfied and a little sad to be done.
When Should You Read Beyond the Shadows?
After the first two in the series, duh... Okay, sad attempt at a joke. :D As I said with the first two installments, be ready for fast-paced-action-intense-writing-lots-of-fighting and everything you'd expect in a series involving assassins. The Night Angel Trilogy brings out the kid in you that wants to rule the world.
My Rating and Links
4 out of 5 Stars
Jeff at Genre Reader (formerly Fantasy Book News and Reviews) also enjoyed Beyond the Shadows. Great review format too.