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Shadow Grail #4: Victories Hardcover – April 22, 2014
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“Lackey and Edghill know how to spin a yarn. Fast-paced action… There's also a touch of romance, and readers who appreciate everything from X-Men to Harry Potter will be begging for the sequel.” ―Booklist
“The authors expertly balance a heady mixture of mystery and teenage romance.” ―RT Book Reviews
About the Author
MERCEDES LACKEY is the author of the Valdemar novels. She has collaborated with Andre Norton on the Elvenbane series and with James Mallory on the bestselling Obsidian Trilogy. She lives with her husband in Oklahoma.
ROSEMARY EDGHILL is a prolific writer in several genres, under her own name and various pseudonyms. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with several cats and several Cavalier King Charles spaniels, which she shows in obedience competitions.
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Marketed for the late teen market , the series probably appeals more to the 12-14 age group.
Victories concludes the Shadow Grail saga as best it can.
Spirit White and her companions are on the run, determined to stop Mordred and his truly insane plan to rule the world. What follows is a buildup to a final battle between the forces of Good and Evil...
The problem with Spirit and her friends is they remain unexplored characters. The story in Victories only compounds this. The other flaw us a bit more elusive, but, basically the main characters don't do much. They often arrive on the scene after the action has taken place or they talk and plan endlessly about what they are going to do. What action there is described with such little detail it almost seems to take place in a vacuum.
The ending, while satisfying in a way still leaves so many plot and relationship points hanging, feels like there is still more story to tell...we'll see.
Book #3 ended with death, destruction, and a narrow escape following an action-filled story. This book starts with the end of the surprisingly low energy escape to sanctuary and the discovery of Quertus, which is also not as exciting as it could be. Spirit and Co. are found by some ancient hallowed weapons and they plan to liberate the town and the students. Then they go and do it. Sadly, this was the takeaway after reading the book.
The premise for this book and the series is intriguing and has a lot of potential. The characters are reasonably interesting. It's just that the execution could have been quite a lot better, perhaps by editing, better plotting, and creating a trilogy rather than four books. I found the book to be rather depressing throughout, with little hope for a bright ending. The ending itself wraps up quite quickly and leaves the reader blinking a bit: after all the windup, this is all I get? This also sums up the series pretty well; after a careful setup, you're taken slowly up the first hill of the roller coaster to experience brief headiness in one wild plunge, which is followed by a decorous, unadventurous procession up to the unloading platform.This series is largely a missed opportunity that could have been outstanding.
This book feels rushed, much like the last Harry Potter. It's almost as if the author gets board of their own series and just gives up on that last book. It's not that they are bad, but they lack that extra something that the original books have.
Personally I would rather they wait and do a good job of a book than publish ones that are substandard.
This book was very predictable, and goes exactly where you think it's going to. It also lacks resolution at the end on what happens next? Where do our heroes end up? They defeat the bad guy, the school dies, they what return to normal? Off to private schools and being taken in by the townies? It really just doesn't hold true. Especially after they get the memories of the grail characters and seemingly loose their power, like the only reason it existed was for that final battle.
No, this book defiantly lacks a quality of thoughtfulness that its authors are usually very good with.