I wish I would have written this review right after I finished the book. (I should get that printed on a t-shirt.) I finished it a couple of months ago now, and as always seems to happen to me when I do this, I put off writing the review in the (vain) hopes that time will make me smarter (or something?) and words will magically appear in the review space. This never happens. Instead, I am left trying to remember what happened in the book and why I liked (or didn’t like) it. Past Ashley is always making decisions that make Present Ashley’s life very difficult. If anyone has suggestions for making their past selves behave, I will be reading the comments fervently.
Okay, but the book.
First I just want to take the time to swoon over the cover. This whole series is impeccably designed and I give big applause to whoever designed it. The inside of the book is lovely, too.
Second, just to get it out of the way, I liked this whole series and it plays better as a whole, but each book has its own feel as well, and I thought A Conjuring of Light did an admirable job as a series-ender, as well as being an exciting adventure on its own merits. (Even though this isn’t REALLY a series ender. I guess she’s continuing in this world and we’ll be revisiting a lot of our favorite characters in a different storyline. But this first arc is over, so, whatever.)
I was happy with the fates of most of the characters, and most everything I thought should be wrapped up was. I’m still not feeling one of the romantic pairings, but the other more than made up for it.
My only real complaint here is that the rules/logistics of the “bad guy” were vague, and it was a bit frustrating to read about at times. I’m a big fan of magic systems that have clear, well thought out rules and stories that conform to them. I’m not saying the magic system in this book doesn’t, just that I was having a hard time pinpointing it exactly, and that made for confusion especially during tense action scenes (of which there were many). Also, when obstacles are overcome magically, it actually takes away from the tension if you’re spending time trying to figure out what just happened and why rather than just enjoying the twist for what it was.
Perhaps I shall write a better review when I re-read. Bottom line: This series wasn’t perfect for me, but I still had a really fun time with it, and it’s worth checking out both if you like fantasy, and as a fantasy intro.