Hope has left the Pirate Bane days behind her. She's now back in Bleak Hope where everything started, trying to find a semblance of inner peace. Hope's former crew is scattered across the Empire. Brigga Lin and Jilly are part of another pirate crew, Alash is secluded on an island, and no one knows what happened to the rest. Finally, Red has get rid of the Biomancers' control and now enjoys his days as an employ of Lady Hempist. Or at least he did, up until the moment he discovers some new information about the Biomancers' plans, which now involve their new allies, the infamous Vixen. Those plans include the death of the old Emperor, as well as something that is labeled as "the ultimate sacrifice". And so, Red is assigned a new job. He has to travel across the empire, find Hope, Brigga Lin, and the rest of the crew, assemble a team, and finally bring the Biomancers to an end, before it is too late for the rest of the Empire.
"In the end, I see now that my gravest mistake was in thinking that I must carry the burden on my own. But progress is never borne on the shoulders of one person. Instead it happens when many people come together with a unity of purpose.
Unfortunately, I cannot imagine a situation so dire that it would unite the people of this fractured empire. What a glorious and terrible day that would be..."
Hope and Red was an as pleasant as it gets surprise. A book dropped out of nowhere, without huge promotion and from a yet unknown in the genre author, that came to be declared by many (including me) as one of the greatest fantasy books of 2016. The sequel, Bane and Shadow, was a great read as well, but this time it didn't come as a surprise, and since it followed the exact same structure of the first book, at some points even seemingly copying some situations, it didn't get as much critical acclaim as the debut. Blood and Tempest, the final conclusion to this epic trilogy, is somewhere in between.
Although this is the final installment of the trilogy, Skovron kept expanding and exploring his world-building, adding new elements that played a vital role to the finale. This helped addressing some problems but also left other issues unresolved. Issues that were raised even from the first book, and should have a conclusion, such as the prophecy about the invasion. On the other hand, this leaves the possibility of new installments open, and I sure as hell would be down for more Hope and Red.The same applies to the characters and their development; likable and authentic, they kept growing and changing, coming to conflict with their inner self and facing the consequences of their beliefs and actions.
Skovron's prose was once again excellent, proving that he is an experienced and talented author with a bright future ahead of him, be it on this genre or another. The pace shifted throughout the book, and although some events felt a little bit rushed, the flow of the story wasn't disrupted. Finally, the ending was epic, full of mesmerizing action sequences and with a satisfying conclusion.
All in all and as the heading said, Blood and Tempest is a great ending for an even greater trilogy, and I'm looking forward to more books by Jon Skovron!
BLOOD AND TEMPEST IS OUT ON 28TH NOVEMBER 2017, AND YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT HERE.