Top positive review
A Lesson Learned
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2018
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I did not think I would like this book or even care about anyone. WOW was I wrong, again.
I highly recommend reading this after books 6-10, as it won't spoil anything that is brought up in the second series. Darkstalker was a villain with good intentions, which made him really, really bad. I don't think I ever realized how young he was when he did all the things that he did, but he was maybe seven or eight. He had just become a full grown dragon, and he plummeted morally.
Seeing his backstory explains so much why he behaved and thought the way he did. Growing up in a family with parents always fighting and screaming at one another, with a sister considered too odd, and people underestimating him or steering clear made his life lonely and dark, until Clearsight. Despite both Clearsight and Darkstalker being able to see the future, Clearsight being able to see every future, this book proved just how much that power can fail you. Clearsight did everything she could to steer them away from a bloody and dark future, and it failed.
There are so many lessons and deep concepts tossed around in this book and left up to the reader to think about that, having read this nearly two weeks ago, I delayed writing a review so that I could puzzle out the "what ifs" and my feelings on Darkstalker as a whole even more.
It genuinely broke my heart at the end when either Clearsight or Fathom read over Darkstalker's scroll to see the little spells he wrote for his family. Blankets to keep his mom perfectly warm. Paints for his sister than never ran out. Those little things that were so utterly sweet and loving, and not evil. Then for them to read the spells literally in between the lines that were for tormenting classmates, killing IceWings, and other horrific acts. I didn't see the shift. Was there a shift? Was Darkstalker always a bad guy? Was it because of his upbringing or his arrogance? Or did something change him very quickly in his short life?
This book, too, pulls into question the concept brought up in books 6-10 where one of the characters argues that using animus magic doesn't leech your soul, but using the magic without a care for morality does destroy your soul. It follows the concept that the more evil or bad things you do, the less your conscience twinges or tells you "Don't do that." The more you rationalize that what you are doing is OK, no matter what.
I'm so happy that Fathom's life worked out. I can't even imagine the PTSD he suffers from Albatross's mass murders or seeing his beloved Indigo dying in his arms. I like that at the end of the book, he's shown to still spook from certain things, which makes sense. He went through a nightmare and now has to deal with those memories for the rest of his life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot help but hope that Tui Sutherland will write more Legends novels.