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Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool – ARC Review!

Following the destruction of the City of Mercy, an ancient god has been resurrected and sealed inside Beru’s body. Both are at the mercy of the Prophet Pallas, who wields the god’s powers to subjugate the Six Prophetic Cities. But every day, the god grows stronger, threatening to break free and sow untold destruction.

Meanwhile, far away from Pallas Athos, Anton learns to harness his full powers as a Prophet. Armed with the truth about how the original Prophets killed the god, Anton leads Jude, Hassan, and Ephyra on a desperate quest to the edge of the world. With time running out, the group’s tenuous alliance is beset by mounting danger, tumultuous romance, and most of all by a secret that Anton is hiding: a way to destroy the god at the price of an unbearable sacrifice. But the cost of keeping that secret might be their lives—and the lives of everyone in the Six Prophetic Cities.

I received a free copy of this book for review & can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Into the Dying Light is the perfect conclusion to the series, wrapping up the story line while still giving readers the high stakes, action and romance we live for. Please note that this review will contain spoilers for the first two books in the series.

After the events of the previous book, our characters are spread around the six prophetic cities: Beru, still with the God trapped inside her is being used by Pallas to take control. Ephyra is trapped alongside Beru, used to ensure her obedience. Hector, Jude and Hassan are across the sea, wondering how they can rescue their friends, if indeed they are still alive, and Anton is training to harness his full powers. When Anton learns of a way to defeat the God for good he brings the gang back together for one last job, only there is a price to be paid, and Anton is not sure he can pay it. Friendships are formed, and romances blossom, but the only way to defeat both Pallas and the God is rife with sacrifice, and they will have to decide whether they are willing to pay the price for freedom.

One of the things I love about this series is the characters, the interactions between them all, the intricacies of their relationships. They aren’t friends to start off with, they are a bunch of people who were forced together because of a prophecy. They each have their own goals, their own wants and needs, but in this book we really see them start to come together, to forgive each other for past grievances, to learn to trust each other as if they were family. This is something the series has been building towards, and we have had glimpses of it in the previous book, but I just loved reading the interactions between them all, and seeing them grow as characters.

Beru is now not just fighting against herself, against the fact that she shouldn’t be alive, but now it also fighting against the God who is trying his best to wrestle control. It is only her love for Ephyra, Hector and her friends, her fear of being the one doing the killing that gives her the strength to hold out. Her character has always been a favourite of mine, but her growth in this book is truly off the charts.

Ephyra is slowly realising that what she did for all those years, the people she killed to keep her sister alive, might not have been the right thing. She is slowly learning to use her power for healing, rather than death. Unlike, Beru she doesn’t easily trust people, and she took considerably longer to warm up to her travelling companions, but she soon realises that friends aren’t a weakness, that she doesn’t always have to do things alone, and I honestly loved seeing her grow as a character in this book.

Jude, my sweet summer child. He has always seemed the most brittle, the most likely to break out of the lot. But he carries a strength inside him, something he will need in the journey to come. After being reunited with Anton, he feels like things are finally looking up, that together they can do anything, but Anton seems to be keeping him at arms length, and Jude is determined to find out why.

Anton has finally gained his powers as the last Prophet. He knows what needs to be done to defeat both Pallas and the God, he’s just not sure he is willing to pay the price. Though travelling with a group of people, he feels more alone than ever, the weight of the world is quite literally on his shoulders. I definitely felt for Anton throughout this story, and hoped he would get the happy ending her deserved.

Hassan is a Prince without a Kingdom, he regrets leaving Nazirah but knows that if he truly wants to save his people, he must complete this mission. He does seem like the weak link in a sense, I did enjoy his perspective, but felt it very rarely added anything to the overall story.

Hector may seem like the odd one out, but his story is linked to so many of the other characters and he plays a huge role in the furthering of their stories and character growth. I especially enjoyed his scenes with Ephrya and his almost bromance with Hassan, he scenes added a much needed levity to the story, and he was certainly a favourite character of mine.

Ilya, may not have a POV, but I loved him all the same. He is probably the most complicated of all the characters. Like them I wasn’t sure whether he was trust worthy, he had certainly done nothing to prove it, but seeing him slowly insert himself into the group, coming out with invaluable information ensured he never got left behind. I also adored the romance arc between him and Ephyra, it was so subtle, but their scenes together were some of my favourites.

In a series filled with Religion, Pool certainly shows how it can be bother controlling and freeing with equal measure. She shows how easy it is for history to be re-written, to show what powerful people want it to show. Some of my favourite parts of this book were the flashbacks to the original prophets, not only did they give us clues as to how the current story was going, but also showed us the truth of Pallas and the God he so desperately wanted to control.

Fast paced and filled with plot twists, this was one series finale I really struggled to put down. I do think that the ending was a little too easy, and could have been made a little more realistic, but another part of me was also happy that most of our characters got the happy ending they deserved. With this series Pool has created a masterpiece of epic fantasy and I will be eagerly picking up anything else she writes.

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