Top critical review
Too much crammed into one. Some misleading principles.
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2022
First off, it’s a kids book. This is not Wheel of Time or LOTR, so expectations need to be lowered. Still, I’ve enjoyed the series ever since reading them to my kids when they were young so I got this final installment to complete the set and get closure to what’s been an enjoyable tale.
I do like that he hasn’t made it all sunshine and fairies - people die, characters experience pain, they make poor choices and then have to experience the consequences. He also did a reasonable job of wrapping up a lot of loose ends. From a more adult viewpoint, however, he wrapped up a LOT of loose ends with minimal detail and some rather unbelievable coincidences & luck, and that definitely detracted from the overall experience. It felt rushed and unlikely, even for a kids book.
The main issue I have with content is a statement made by a significant character: “everyone deserves forgiveness”. Without trying to force my morals on others, this statement is flat wrong and misleading to kids. Forgiveness is, by definition, undeserved. If you deserved it then it would mean you didn’t deserve to be condemned in the first place. Forgiveness is something we can ask for, we can hope for, we can be given, but we can never deserve or demand. This really flipped my switch as you can tell, but we already have far too much confusion about what “deserve” means; let’s not contribute more to our children’s ignorance by leading them to think they deserve forgiveness when they’ve done wrong.