I received a copy of this book at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The third – and, I believe, final – book in the “World of Aluvia” series wraps up the stories of our six heroes – Sierra, Micah, Phoebe, Tristan, Nell and Corbin – quite nicely. While all six are involved, though, this is truly Nell’s story.
In Fairy Keeper and Mer-Charmer (the first two books in the series) we are initially introduced to Nell as an enforcer for the ruthless gang of drug-dealing alchemists who was doing what she had to for her family’s safety, and saw her grow into a new role as the host of a mysterious voice which spoke through her to the people of Aluvia about the need to rebalance magic in the world and maintain that balance so the world won’t be destroyed.
By the time of “Dragon Redeemer,” Nell has gotten somewhat used to the voice taking over whenever it decided a message need to be relayed, but she wasn’t entirely at peace with it, nor with having given up her identity as a warrior to learn how to be a healer instead. While her boyfriend Corbin is thrilled with her transition into a peaceful way of life, Nell feels like she’s setting aside an integral part of who she is.
This conflict – both within herself and between her and Corbin – comes into sharp focus when the group learns that a magic-user calling himself The Dragon plans to take over the world and declare all magical creatures – such as fairies, mer-folk, fauns and dragons – as subservient to humans, who can use them and their magical abilities however they want. To stop him, Nell will have to learn more about the voice that has chosen her as its vessel and find a way to reconcile her healing and warrior sides.
Much of this book, like Fairy Keeper, is taken up by a trek through unknown lands searching for something Nell needs to help her defeat The Dragon. Quest stories aren’t always my favorite, but this one was better than many I’ve read, with a minimum of the side distractions that usually only serve to slow the heroes – and the story – down. And the last part of the book, after they’ve reached their objective is really good. Author Amy Bearce’s descriptions of what is happening and how Nell is reacting are vivid and, in some ways, I almost felt like I could see it unfolding on a screen in front of me.
Nell is probably my favorite of the six main characters in this series. She’s the most complex, and I find her quite relatable – and very likable, too. This isn’t to say that the other characters aren’t relatable or likable – they are – but there’s just something about Nell that makes her stand out even more, at least to me.
I’ve noticed with a few series in the last couple of years that sometimes the author keeps escalating things until they become so big and out-of-control that by the last book (or books, in longer series) the situation has gotten so preposterous that I don’t even want to finish it. That is most certainly *not* the case here. Bearce has done a great job over the three books of raising the stakes enough to keep things interesting and make the adventures important, without turning it into a metaphysical Gordian Knot that makes you want to turn your brain inside out to see if that helps it make more sense, and for that, I heartily thank her.