Today I’m reviewing the third book in Charlie N Holmberg’s Numina trilogy. I love seeing trilogies through from start to finish and this was no exception (even if 47 North seem to have something against letting their authors have a rest between books). This series has certainly been interesting and I went into the third book with a pretty open mind, the way I saw it, this book could go in any direction.
Almost totally spoiler-free for this book (I clearly mark the spoiler don’t worry) but likely to have spoilers for books one and two.
Sandis has finally freed herself from her master and his plans to use her as a vessel for the ancient beast Kolosos. But her master has found a new, impossible vessel: Sandis’s brother, Anon—a brother she long thought dead.
Kolosos is ancient, massive, and seemingly unbeatable. Fortunately, Sandis has her own monster—an ethereal fire horse that she can summon at will. In addition, she and Rone may have discovered the secret to defeating Kolosos: ancient lore that details the creation of magic. It could be the key to victory and the key to saving Anon.
The price is steep, and Sandis is willing to pay it. Rone is not, and his attempt to save her only pulls them apart. As both are tested in ways they never expected, Sandis and Rone will need to determine the sacrifices they are willing to make. If their efforts are not enough, their city will fall…just as the ancient city beneath it already has.
Alrighty, where to begin.
I think this is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. One thing I really like about Charlie N Holmberg is that she always rounds off her books, she’s not one to leave things hanging and this ending is no exception. Obviously, I won’t go into the specifics, but I thought that this was a great conclusion for these characters and I felt fulfilled having finished the trilogy – which is pretty much my goal when reading third books!
I still like these characters and this book, more than any of the others (or so it felt) really brought in the side characters even more. I thought this was a good choice because it meant that the consequences of the book felt like they affected more people than just Rone and Sandis. Also, I don’t know about other people but by the end of three books I get a little fed up of just hearing about two people and I need an injection of something more!
On to my main gripe…which perhaps is less of a gripe and more of a pondering? I think to talk about this I’m going to have to spoil something a little so skip to the next paragraph to avoid. Ok, so, the reason Rone and Sandis can’t have sex is that she has to stay a virgin to be the vessel for the fire horse Ireth – which they’ve set up in previous books. I personally find anything that goes into the concept of virginity (in particular ‘physical virginity’ super sketchy. Let’s all remember that you can break a hymen when exercising. So anyway spoiler it is revealed that this was all bollocks and actually it’s only if a woman has given birth. Now for me, that’s still weird metaphysically but obviously less bad. I don’t know, I suppose my point is – why was this a feature? Can’t she have had another reason for not wanting to sleep with him? Couldn’t she have just slept with him? Did we need to reinforce those ideas about virginity until the end of book three? Ok, maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it’s been bothering me since I finished the book.
Overall, I thought that the epic scale of this story was great, the way this built from what was established in book one all the way to the finale was powerful. Since this is a Kindle Unlimited series I can absolutely see people bingeing this series and being very satisfied by the end, they are short enough that you could read all three over a long weekend or something.
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There were some parts of this story that sat less well with me, mostly parts where Rone got to participate in elements of the story that I would have preferred Sandis to do (but I won’t spoil things). I think that’s 99.9% my preference for female characters shining through! I think, if you’re looking for a nice quick series to blast through this is a great example.
My rating: 3/5 stars
I received a free digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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What say you? What are some of your favourite trilogies? Let me know in the comments below!