After being introduced to Legacies and learning about the Conspiracies, it’s time to make Sacrifices. Such as…how much is your personal integrity worth to you? Anyone who thought that book two of the Shadow Grail was dark should stop and take a look at book three where things really get crazy. Suddenly you wish you’d paid a bit more attention to Elizabeth Walker’s exposition dump, eh? And now she’s vanished, like far too many other people.
Book three makes it clear that no, this is definitely the direction the series is heading in, you were right to suspect what you did earlier. Also “normal” is not anywhere near here and may never be again at this rate. The offense which was subtle in the first book and tense in the second is now overt and obvious here. Also, some of the most hilarious lines of dialogue and description can be found in Sacrifices…and they’re necessary to lighten the darkness of this book.
The ending here always makes me pause and even tear up a little. Sure, it’s a young adult book, but it’s written by authors who know damned well what they’re doing and we’ve had two books to get to know these characters. Of course we feel for them. Or at least, that’s the idea. The only psychopaths here are the enemy, and people who read tend to be more empathetic. So say studies.
As you can tell, I am dancing around the subject and trying to avoid as many specifics as possible because I truly do enjoy these books. I wish they weren’t school stories, but that’s the story being told. Just because it’s cliche and overdone doesn’t mean I can deny the fact that this series is well-done. And it’s not over yet, of course.
The story concludes in Victories, which is the most atypical book of the whole series. There’s a location change, a different structure to the days and, most importantly, no mystery to solve. At this point, our heroes may find more information, but they are not solving a grand mystery. They’re merely preparing for the final battle.
And if you haven’t figured out what’s going on before the big reveal, you really haven’t been paying attention. Everything, going back to the beginning of Legacies, has been building towards that reveal, and Lackey and Edghill stopped being subtle some time ago. I guess when your target is younger and less experienced at picking up hints, you want to make things more obvious. Does not change the fact that I do enjoy these books.
Yes, there’s problems. Yes, there’s a number of questions that will always go unanswered. But at the end of the day, it’s a short, easy series to read coauthored by one of my favorite writers.
Having finished Shadow Grail, I’m eyeing my Pile of books I’ve never read before again. I’ve gotten about half of the books I ordered, and the rest will probably arrive tomorrow. If not then, the day after. These books include multiple sequels to some of my recent reading materials – things that I’ve read recently enough that I won’t have to do any rereading. Unless, of course, I want to. Still, there’s very few books that I can finish, turn over, and start again immediately. It has happened before, but not in years. Point being, I have more books to choose from than I did last week. And tha’ts no bad thing.