|rachelmanija (rachelmanija) wrote,|
@ 2012-05-01 11:07 am UTC
|Entry tags:||author: black holly, genre: fantasy, genre: young adult|
The third and concluding book of Holly Black's Curseworkers trilogy. The series is noir contemporary fantasy in a world in which magic is illegal, and so ends up controlled by organized crime. It's slick but heartfelt, an unusual combination. The first book in particular has a lot of very clever fairytale references, while the second digs into and deconstructs the trope of soulbonding and other forms of magically induced love. It's not very much like Black's other books stylistically, and I would recommend it even if you're not a fan of those. (That may go in the other direction as well.)
There is very little I can say about this volume that is not spoilery, other than that I enjoyed it a lot, despite some missteps, and the conclusion was enormously satisfying.
Click only if you've already read the book.
I had mixed feelings about the big misunderstanding plot between Lila and Cassel. I had expected her to be angry that he hadn't tried hard enough to stay away from her when she was cursed to love him, not that she assumed that he had stayed away because he didn't love her. It was more well-supported than most misunderstandings of that nature, but I bought it more from Cassel than from Lila, who had previously seemed more knowing.
The blackmail plot at school wasn't very well integrated into the rest of the story. I think it would have worked better if the girl had been put up to it due to something involving the larger plot, not that she just randomly came up with this incredibly and unnecessarily elaborate plot and then decided to involve Cassel in it. It was also just so, so complicated. (Why not simply tell Cassel she was being blackmailed and needed help?) I did, however, absolutely love the payoff, in which Cassel gives a gun and a choice. I also adored the gold-toothed deathworker with the sentimental-value gun, and would have happily read more about him and less about the blackmail thing.
I loved the ending. It seemed so right and in-character for Cassel and Lila - a happy ever after (for now) that felt tonally appropriate to the rest of the book. By the end of the series, I was completely invested in seeing those two crazy kids get to ride off into the sunset together, and that's exactly what I got. Given all the complications and obstacles, the loose ends and lack of a promised ever after were what sold me on the happiness.