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That Frigid Fargin Witch (The Legend of Vanx Malic Book 4) Kindle Edition
|Length: 247 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The author keeps on surprising me with creative plot twists, compelling new characters and strong dialogue. It's filled with vivid imagery and action/drama rich writing that really sets a thrilling tone throughout the novel. From beginning to end I had a fun time reading and really couldn't have put this book down even if I wanted to.
While this book is a good length, it felt like it took me no time to read because of how fast everything happens. It was hard to put down and harder still to not jump right into the next book. Mathias is usually very much about the little details, forming an image in my mind of his characters. But I really appreciated the completely different angle (let’s get going!) of this book.
The Vanx tale is a great favorite of mine because he’s a true unique being on the planet and yet he has as humble a personality you could hope for. He doesn’t have a glamorous knight-in-shining-armor background, but that just makes him a better good guy to cheer for. At least in my opinion. Having a few character flaws makes someone more realistic. I’m too old for Prince Charming, really. And his team is really just a bunch of well-intentioned misfits. It’s an easy group to relate to and love for just about anyone. It isn’t until the third book that you really start to know his story and this book gives a much better picture of where he and his family are from. And it’s not a history to be entirely proud of. But he never succumbs to the darkness in his past. He doesn’t even consider giving up the good fight, though he can be a little harsh at times.
One thing new readers of Mathias should be cautioned against: no character, no matter how loved, is safe from being killed. I’m not going to give any spoilers, though that does make talking about one part of the book very hard. I simply want you to know that if you don’t want to lose a beloved character, this series might test your strength. I know I’ve been stung by Mathias a time or two. While I hate it in the moment, it adds so much to his stories. Knowing your team will always make it out unscathed means you’re never on the edge of your seat. I’m always nervous during Mathias’s battles.
Like I said before, this is a quick book. There is very little exposition and it’s even acknowledged in the book: Vanx doesn’t take time to appreciate his surroundings because there simply isn’t time. I can’t remember the last time a book passed on a sense of urgency so well. And there aren’t many subplots to support this one. There’s one (I won’t tell) that’s pretty crucial, but it ends with them all in the same place, fighting for the Heart Tree. Though the storyline is very linear this time, it feels perfectly done. You don’t feel rushed, but you’re happy that you don’t have many distractions along the way.
As far as impact, I think this is the strongest book for the story. A lot has been leading up to this point and there was a lot riding on how Mathias handled it. There are some new, very disturbing monsters to be dealt with and our ultimate baddie, the Hoar Witch, is certainly not one to trifle with. I feel he ended things very well, though not exactly what I expected. But he knows where things are going and I don’t, so I’ll trust him. After reading half a dozen of his books, I’ve learned to go with it. Though I may yell at my Kindle a time or two along the way.
This one doesn’t end on as much of a cliff as the others, but I’m still anxious to get on to the next one. There are some new characters of course, to add to the mix. But many of the older ones are still there, fighting with him. A huge part of his trials has ended here (I’m sure you can guess that from the title), but there is still a lot to do. And Mathias always gives a pretty good clue of what is next on the agenda. But don’t think you can predict what the ending will be. Never get comfortable with these books. You don’t, and that’s what makes them great.
Vanx journeys into the Underland with his elven ally, Foxwise Posy-Thorn, along with a slimmed-down posse of the familiar members of his crew. The life of the pixie queen is at stake, as is the purity of the Heart Tree which the Hoar Witch seeks to possess in her quest for dominion. During this journey, Thorn announces, "I'm about to break one of the most ancient rules of my people...the violation is for their own good, though."
And so it is for Vanx, as well. An elven oracle hints that it's quite possible that Vanx, as he pursues the Hoar Witch, also means pursuing and embracing the dark side himself. The stakes are high, here, and I admit that this reader is a sucker for the drama, compromises, and soul-searching that accompanies "end justifies the means" scenarios.
If you want to learn what vengeance and temptation are all about, buy this book!