Synopsis: In Valor There Is Hope! Branimir has remained hidden from the enemy, withholding the cursed dagger from their erroneous hands. When a stranger arrives, and offers the chance to end his never-ending battle, Branimir sets off for the City of the Gods for answers. Now, hoping his faith has not been misplaced, Branimir undergoes his darkest adventure yet. He can only trust that he has the courage to survive the truth.
My Take: This is the third and final book of the Kaelandur trilogy, but it isn't the end of the Thrice Nine Legends. For those who missed my review of Melkorka, and Dyndaer, those are kind of important to this discussion. So, I had a little "rant" on Facebook the other day about the end of this series.
But I want to talk about Maharia specifically today. This is definitely the darkest book in the trilogy. I actually needed a couple of days in the middle to process a scene that crushed my soul. Seriously, still processing! But it makes sense. I mean, in a series where demons were flooding the earth and a little Kras is left wondering if he's the hero, or working with the villain, it is tough.
And this whole series has very carefully reflected a lot of issues we experience every day in our own lives. One could sit back and reflect on so many issues, but the author is very careful in the way that he lays out the story to not make any judgments, but to leave the reader up to deciding. Heavy thoughts buzzing through my head after finishing the series.
There is this interesting introspection on religion that comes up in the series with Alden and Sulana, and ends quite unexpectedly (though the author assures me that I will find more information in some of the other Thrice Nine Legends books!) One of the characters, Alden, is a devout worshiper of his God, and participates in some strange religious practices as forms of penance (very reminiscent of some of the things that were going on in Christian history which led to the Council of Nicaea.) Each character has a different view of the Gods, and through their views and reflections, one can delve into a philosophical debate in ones own mind looking at the various world religions of today and seeing the chaos that it causes.
The author also plays with the concepts of right and wrong, The idea of loyalty, the constant struggle of the few vs the many, the idea of happiness, and many others. And the author presents these thoughtful nuggets in a space that leaves the reader open to explore their own thoughts and ideas on each without being forced to believe one thing or the other. And it is this thoughtful approach that leads me to make the call that, despite some pretty heavy and dark scenes in Maharia, I want my boys to read this. I want to have these discussions with them. And I want to have these discussions with others, so everyone should go out and read this series. Seriously, we have to talk!
If you haven't gotten your copy yet, you can order the whole beautiful signed three box series off the author's website It was my best birthday present EVER! I can't wait to read more in the Thrice Nine Legends.