Series: The Lotus War #3
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on November 25, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy, Young Adult
My Reviews in this series: Stormdancer, Kinslayer
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
A TREMBLING EARTH
The flames of civil war sweep across the Shima Imperium. With their plans to renew the Kazumitsu dynasty foiled, the Lotus Guild unleash their deadliest creation—a mechanical goliath known as the Earthcrusher, intended to unite the shattered Empire under a yoke of fear. With the Tiger Clan and their puppet Daimyo Hiro in tow, the Guild marches toward a battle for absolute dominion over the Isles.
A BROKEN REBELLION
Yukiko and Buruu are forced to take leadership of the Kagé rebellion, gathering new allies and old friends in an effort to unite the country against the chi-mongers. But the ghosts of Buruu’s past stand between them and the army they need, and Kin’s betrayal has destroyed all trust among their allies. When a new foe joins the war tearing the Imperium apart, it will be all the pair can do to muster the strength to fight, let alone win.
A FINAL BATTLE
The traitor Kin walks the halls of Guild power, his destiny only a bloody knife-stroke away. Hana and Yoshi struggle to find their place in a world now looking to them as heroes. Secret cabals within the Lotus Guild claw and struggle; one toward darkness, the other toward light. And as the earth splits asunder, as armies destroy each other for rule over an empire of lifeless ash and the final secret about blood lotus is revealed, the people of Shima will learn one last, horrifying truth.
There is nothing a mother won't do to keep her children by her side.
As delicious as drowning in a river of despair
What are you saying that doesn’t sound appealing to you? Then Endsinger and the rest of The Lotus War trilogy may not be what you are looking for because this trilogy brings the PAIN! And none of them quite so much as Endsinger does. I especially like fiction that takes you to the darker side of things. These books were a masterpiece of fantasy fiction in that they made you feel so much and Endsigner was the coup de grace. You won’t find a summary of events in this review because that would spoil…well everything – you must read for yourself!
A more amazing cast of characters you’ll be hard pressed to find!
Yukiko – A girl with the weight of a country’s future on her shoulders. Strong and determined and capable of inspiring others
Buruu – Valiant and noble and a total smart ass that is not without his flaws but is willing to try to correct them
Kin – a genius and gentle natured young man whose love spurs him forward. Capable of so much.
Hiro – Sad, Angry and full of wounded pride and shattered honor, can he ever see past his own selfishness
Hana – Orphan, waif and half breed she is touched with the kenning, and yearns for love and has some larger role yet to play
Yoshi – brother of Hana, another hilarious smart ass and tormented by his lost love. He seeks revenge and yet at the end of it finds he is capable of more then just the hate he thought himself left with.
Akihito – a protector, friend and soul who seems to endear to him all who know him. He is a true friend that any person would be lucky to have
Kaori – twisted by her hatred and anger she rarely ever can see past the awful emotions that seem to drive everything she does
Daichi – tortured by all of his many misdeeds performed in the name of service and honor to his lord, he has spent the remainder of his life trying to make things right
Michi – Dedicated to the cause of bringing Shima a brighter future no matter the cost to herself and her own happiness.
I’ve spent the past two books getting attached to these characters and trying to figure them out as I watched them grow and stumble through the troubles of their complicated lives. I must say all of the heartache was well worth it. The author spent the perfect amount of time with each character and built their own back stories in such a way that I literally felt a connection with each one. No character felt like they were there simply as a plot device or a token bit of the story. Each had their own unique voice, personality and tragedy to bring to the journey. This kind of storytelling and the level of detail given to the reader was the icing that got you invested not just in the overall bigger picture that was happening in the land of Shima but the struggles of each of the characters.
An epic fantasy of the darker persuasion
I would definitely consider this a great epic fantasy as in my mind it meets all the criteria that I usually equate with epic fantasy. I’m not as widely read in the epic fantasy sub-genre but of the ones I have read in the past these things always stand out to me.
– A large cast of characters whose point of views we get to read from
– An in depth and rich world with a major struggle that encompasses all of it’s populace
– A wide array of various subplots that all tie together in the end
– And war, oodles of death and tragedy (that’s probably not really part of any criteria but hey it fits)
Beauty and Tragedy make for marvelous bed fellows
Ultimately, what makes Endsinger and The Lotus War trilogy so great to me was the way that all of the darkest tragedies in life and the evils people are capable of were paired with their opposites of the people’s capacity for love, compassion, understanding and the setting aside of differences. This final book wasn’t just of how things end but a lesson in life and a tale of how things can begin. This trilogy is going to remain among my favorite reads every as each book was even better and more poignant then it’s predecessor. Read if you dare and prepare to be moved.
Audiobook sample courtesy of Audible.