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This was my favorite of the PH series--although I really, really liked Mel's epic stand at the end of Book 2, and feel partial to Mel as a character. But for whatever reason, after waiting a long time for this book it kind of felt like seeing old friends again, and I really liked being in Jason's head so much. The world-building was really interesting; this book really brings some of the mysteries of the place's history together in ways we haven't had time for in book 1 and 2. There's a neat idea about ley lines and magnetic fields that I kind of wish I had come up with myself.
This book focuses a little more on Jason, who's been a little more "comic relief"y up until this point, and, without dropping too many spoilers, gives him a bit of a punchy raison d'etre with nobility, and a kind of unexpected ending, tbh. It has some of the most epic fights of the series, and a lot more "big battles." There's a crazy fish-monster dude, there's this wild over-the-top description of these mage-siegework-things, and of there's more mind-magic, too, than I had remembered in book 1 and 2.
I will say I was deeply frustrated with how Mel was treated. However, it was not unrealistic, and unfortunately tragically true to the experience many, if not most, young women have with their first male partner. Having already started reading book 4 ahead of publication, though, I have high hopes for Mel regaining her agency, and I am looking forward to seeing how she/he manages his/her gender identity as her trial comes to a close. Most of this book, book 3, focused more on the team somehow figuring out how to manage this horrible war they've inadvertently caused, and there were some interesting racial conflicts mirrored in this story.
You should definitely get this book if you've read Book 1 and Book 2. It's pretty tight. And if you haven't read 1 and 2, I don't know what you're doing here, and why you haven't done that.
I've read all of the PH series, although I read a lot of them in their original form as a beta reader, before their publication. I have gotten no compensation for this review.