Finally finished it… and after 545 pages (in the ARC) I want it to keep going… so the wait begins, again, for the next installment.
How does an author touch one’s heart so profoundly? What did she do that’s just right? The pacing is perfect – without much battle or fight scenes. I knew the general direction that the story must follow and felt rewarded, rather than bored, when the story arc falls neatly where I anticipated — but, also surprised along the way with many little bits and pieces that Cashore masterfully inserted into the story to make it even more intriguing and the world even more realized.
The book is, though, filled with so much sorrow that one can almost not bear reading through. I hope young people (14 and up?) will not be as horrified as us older readers by Leck’s astrocity on his victims and his forced accomplices. I am amazed at the sympathy I felt toward him — the pure evil embodiment through the 3 books — and how damaged a mind and what a torture chamber that mind is for himself.
Glad to see the other beloved characters from Graceling and Fire and can’t wait to see what the next, culminating kind of story Cashore will bring us.
And — Kristin, please don’t worry about publishing the next book right away. We can wait. And if you are having trouble telling the next story, go do something else. Go write something else. Go present your insights on Fantasy world building, on character development, on capturing emotional truths, etc. to the world. Thank you so much for a most affecting story!