Much like the previous installment, Last Heir of the North, Last Bloom of the Jade Lotus has a bifurcated plotline, with one following Jie and her compatriots in the present and the other continuing to examine Lilian’s memories. This time, however, the memories are much closer to the present, up to and including the events of the first book, Thorn of the Night Blossoms, and serves to tie everything together. This also gives an insight into the adult Lilian, revealing the reasons behind her schemes and the conflict created between her desires for a better future and her unresolved feelings for Jie.
While Jie is the focus of many of the present-day sections, a good bit of time is devoted to Tian as well. It’s been interesting to watch as he has become both more confident and more accepting of his new role as a member of the Black Lotus clan. His highlight comes towards the end where he makes a decision to take arms in defense of his new sisters and does it well, an idea that would have been comical when he was first introduced.
Last Bloom does a good job of resolving the majority of the plot threads while still leaving one or two open for exploration in the subsequent Dragon Songs series, the first of which, Songs of Insurrection, picks up with these characters approx. 8 years after this storyline. It's difficult to say much more, for fear of spoilers but while I will say that, for this series, it serves as a bittersweet ending that still holds promise for the future.
4.5 out of 5 Tiger's Eyes.