Top positive review
Questions with few answers
Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2021
This cannot be the end of this series.
I’ve now read 7 or so series by this author. Every single one starts out brilliantly as Ms. Edwards introduces readers into her fictional world, although this has been, by far, my favourite. If the introductory books were single, stand alone works, they would leave readers wanting more, but largely fulfilled because the central conflict of the first book is, for the most part, definitively resolved. And we are fortunate, in many ways, that there are more books to follow that further expands the alternate universe and draws the truly stellar characters into greater detail.
Unfortunately, Ms. Edwards rarely definitively answers the questions that she, herself, raises about significant conflicts and mysterious characters. From the Araneae series all the way through the Foundling series, including Black Dog, Lorimer, Gemini, and the denouement of TBGTN that never got around to explaining how Grier could be both a female last seed and a necromancer, much less have a baby, readers are obviously willing to read thousands of pages abundantly staying with Ms. Edwards, who never quite gets around to wrapping up these loose threads. Even now, in what is supposed to be the last book of the POA series, the series feels unfinished and I feel quite burned by the TBGTN epilogues that detract from the original series.
Ultimately, Hadley is still not the POA and has six more months remaining on her apprenticeship before she magically bonds with the city itself. We still know virtually nothing about Ambrose or Bishop and fully nothing about Anca, Reece, or Milo. The rather sudden twist of book 4 that transformed a close ally into a villain is barely mentioned, begging the question; what purpose does book 4 have in the greater context of the series? It read like a non sequitur at the time and feels even more disconnected now.
Much like book 6 or TBTGN, book 5 of POA crams more information into a single book than it can reasonably hold. The Faraday is under siege and it happens entirely off book. Midas’s undefined time in Faerie is told in a handful of flashbacks just like the abuse Hadley suffered at the hands of her mother are told entirely in hints, despite book 5 taking place in Faerie and Hadley’s mother appearing in book 4. Part of what makes these characters work is that they have complicated histories that continue to influence their present, but Ms. Edwards flinched away from bringing these issues into the light.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating that the epilogues of TBGTN make even less sense after reading the full POA series. If Hadley and Midas are mated and likely married, why would they avoid one another at Grier and Linus’s wedding? Why wouldn’t they have come to Grier’s baby shower?
As it is, the answers provided in this final book simply raise more questions.