Customer Reviews: The Last Paladin (The War of the Rose)
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Averil has become the queen of the Kingdom of Lys with the death of her wicked uncle King Clodovec. However, the evil he did lives after him; there is no good interred with his bones as the sorcerers who used her odious relative continue their quest to bring forth the Serpent God of Chaos and their soulless armies continue to kill anyone in their path.

Averil knows she must confront the amoral sorcerers before the Serpent God arrives; if she fails to stop their incantations in time, Chaos will rule over Order. Her magecraft bondmate Squire Gereint reluctantly supports her quest to take the battle to the enemy, but her loyal subjects fear her death means the end of the Light. None can prevent the final war between Order and Chaos with the Serpent God apparently ready to lead Averill's enemies.

The final War between Order and Chaos (see THE SERPENT AND THE ROSE and THE GOLDEN ROSE) is a great ending to a strong quest trilogy. The courageous Averil and her brave bondmate have gained wisdom as both sadly understand what she must do. However, it is the Serpent God who makes the tale as he also comprehends that even Chaos has a need of Order. Although the ending appears too formulaic for this extremely complex character driven fantasy saga, Kathleen Bryan's fans will relish the final battle between the forces of Order and those of Chaos.

Harriet Klausner
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VINE VOICEon May 7, 2009
The Last Paladin is the last in the War of the Rose Series. You must read The Serpent and the Rose (The War of the Rose, Book 1) and The Golden Rose (The War of the Rose, Book 2) before reading this book.

I bought the first book in this series because I am a sucker for a pretty cover and I love the historical fantasy genre. I enjoyed the world building. I am also sucker for stereotypes like the beautiful Princess who is raised in a convent environment but is destined to rule her country, and falls in love with a commoner. So... after a promising start, here we are at the conclusion of this series, nearly three years later.

This book was a let down. After a lot of simmering tension, the romance ends with a whimper. The great battle between the Paladins and the Serpent also ends with a whimper. The plot is so predictable. There is a "too stupid to live" moment where Averil goes straight into the hands of her enemy and of course gets kidnapped. It was so obvious, I felt insulted. It almost felt to me that the author was fed up with this trilogy and just needed to end it to finish her commitment to the publisher.

On a plus note, no graphic sex, and so it is appropriate for all age groups. Also Kathleen Bryan is the pseudonym for Judith Tarr, so I will keep reading anything she writes because I am usually a big fan.
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on October 12, 2011
The trology ends as it begins with Averil and Gereint wielding uncharted magic and learning startling revelations about themselves and even the nature of their enemy the Serpent. I loved this series because it was about preconcieved notions of good and evil and how the characters have to determine the truth in order to triumph. A problem with many casual fantasy readers is that they too often take the story at face value and miss the deeper meaning. The ending was quite fitting in my opinion taking a standard ultimate evil character and giving it a surprising and original twist.
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