Title: Into the Dying Light
Series: The Age of Darkness #3
Author: Katy Rose Pool
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: September 21st, 2021 (Henry Holt & Co. BYR)
Synopsis: Following the destruction of the City of Mercy, an ancient god has been resurrected and sealed inside Beru’s body. Both are at the mercy of the Prophet Pallas, who wields the god’s powers to subjugate the Six Prophetic Cities. But every day, the god grows stronger, threatening to break free and sow untold destruction.
Meanwhile, far away from Pallas Athos, Anton learns to harness his full powers as a Prophet. Armed with the truth about how the original Prophets killed the god, Anton leads Jude, Hassan, and Ephyra on a desperate quest to the edge of the world. With time running out, the group’s tenuous alliance is beset by mounting danger, tumultuous romance, and most of all by a secret that Anton is hiding: a way to destroy the god at the price of an unbearable sacrifice. But the cost of keeping that secret might be their lives—and the lives of everyone in the Six Prophetic Cities.
After the events in Behezda, an ancient god has been resurrected and trapped in Beru. The Prophet Pallas holds her and Ephyra captive in order to wield the god’s power to take over the Prophetic Cities, but the battle of wills between Beru and the god continue and it will only be a matter of time before he breaks free to wreak destruction. Meanwhile, Anton, Jude, Hassan and Hector set out on a quest to seek a way to bind and kill the god as the original Prophets did. But Anton hides a dark secret that may end up being the only chance at victory, but will require an unimaginable sacrifice.
I have been absolutely dying to read this book since I finished As the Shadow Rises last year, so it was such a relief to finally find enough time to pick it up. Into the Dying Light was among my most anticipated reads this year, especially with the cliffhanger ending of book two. This was a thrilling read from beginning to end as things finally come to a head in the Prophetic Cities, and it thoroughly lived up to expectations. With the rapid pace of this finale, especially considering how swiftly it switches between character POVs, all of whom have their own plotlines, one would expect the narrative to be confusing. However, the author has done an excellent job in not only keeping the voices distinct, but also structuring the story in such a way that the various threads are easy to follow and remember throughout. I love that even at this late stage in the story, there were still a few unexpected twists in store and I really enjoyed them. This book certainly kept me at the edge of my seat right until the end!
While the plot of this story has been beautifully done, its strength has always been in the characters and how their arcs have evolved over course of the series. I’ve mentioned this in my reviews of the previous books, but this is the first series in a very long time where I have been so utterly invested in the fates of the central characters. That held doubly true for this book and I was basically so stressed throughout reading this because I couldn’t see any scenario in which it would end well for these characters. And with darkness descending upon the Prophetic Cities, each of them has their moment to shine. These are not characters who started out as friends, but were forced together when their paths crossed due to the prophecy. They still very much have their own wants and goals in mind, but it was in this book that they began to look at the bigger picture, put aside past grievances and begin to learn to trust each other and work together.
Beru has always struggled with the knowledge that she is a Revenant and shouldn’t even be alive, but now struggles with the far greater power of the ancient god doing his best to wrest control and her arc, with the fierce inner fight she puts up throughout was a marvellous one. Ephyra finally has that redemption arc that has been a long time coming, and though she will never be my favorite character, I still appreciated the direction her arc took in the end. Jude and Anton remain my favorites in this story and both face their toughest challenges yet.
Hassan felt like the weak link in this book and while his POV provided some insight into the situation in Nazirah, I felt like it didn’t add too much to the story. He did have an important role to play, but that comes into play much later in the story. Some of the characters’ endings were not what I hoped for, so I wasn’t too happy about that and there are still some questions left unanswered, though nothing too major. Overall though, it was a fitting conclusion.
This was a brilliant finale and I loved how everything came together so perfectly in the end. I hope to see more such fantasy novels from Katy Rose Pool in the future. Her writing style works so well for the genre and it has a way of drawing you into the story and really brings it to life. This has been an amazing series and I can’t recommend it enough!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: