Title / The Poison Song
Author / Jen Williams
Publication Date / May 2019
Series or standalone / book 3 of 3
Page no. / 320
Overall Rating /★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This is the third and final book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy, which is a multiple perspective epic fantasy story. It picks up soon after the events of the second book, The Bitter Twins and follows the same characters from the first two books. As this is the final book in the trilogy, I will not be going into details on the plot to avoid spoilers. It is one of my most anticipated book releases of this year.
After loving the first two books I had high hopes for this instalment, and it didn’t disappoint. This was not a perfect book for me, and I did have a few little issues, but overall, I really enjoyed this book and was happy with how the story was concluded. While this instalment starts quite fast paced, the chapters following do have a slower pacing to them. I thought Williams did a good job at maintaining a good pace throughout this book. It was slower at times, but these were perfect moments for character and relationship development. I did enjoy the direction of the plot and Williams did manage to pull off a few twists and turns. I loved the way this book started out as it dropped you straight back into the world and the action. However there were also elements of the plot that were a little predictable. Once again, the world is vividly written, and it was great to be able to explore more of it. The world is one of my favourite things about this trilogy and this book continue to build on what we knew from the first two books. I hope that Williams has plans to write more books set in this world, because I would love to see more of it.
One of the main strengths of this trilogy is the characters and so it was great to be back with them in this instalment. Over the course of the first two books you come to really care about them, and Williams has done a good job concluding their story in this book. The character development continues to be a highlight in this instalment and the author did well at building on what we have learnt of each character in the previous books. These characters are at the heart of these books, so if you enjoy character driven fantasy then I highly recommend checking this trilogy out. All of the characters are so well written, and I love the interactions between them all. Like its predecessors, this instalment follows multiple perspective; each of which is as compelling as the last. I definitely had my favourite perspectives, but I still enjoyed them all and I didn’t find the switches to be jarring. For me, Noon, Tor and Vintage were the most compelling. One slight issue I had was the introduction of one particular character. Without spoiling anything this character is introduced in Noon’s chapters and while it does add quite a lot to the story, it felt a little jarring to suddenly be introduced to this new character.
While I did really enjoy this book, I still thought that the ending happened a little too quickly. There is such a big build up throughout the trilogy but its all wrapped up too quickly and neatly in my opinion. Elements of the story and ending were also a little predictable. One character’s arc in particular seemed like quite an obvious path to take for me. When compared to a lot of fantasy books I read, this one is quite short at 320 pages long and I think I wanted it to be longer. If it had been a bit longer then more time could have been taken to explore the ending and the aftermath. Having said all this, I did enjoy this book and it was a satisfying conclusion – there just some small nit-picks because I loved the first two books so much.
Overall this was a great conclusion to this trilogy, and I would highly recommend checking it out, if you haven’t started it already. If you have read and enjoyed the first two books, then I think you will love this one too. While this was probably the weakest book in the trilogy for me personally, I still really enjoyed it and found it to be a mostly satisfying ending. This book concluded a fantastic trilogy; filled with a wonderfully written cast of characters, a vivid world and compelling plot. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any future releases by Williams, whether it’s a new series set in this world or a completely new one. If you haven’t started this trilogy yet, then I definitely recommend doing so now. Have you guys started this trilogy? I’d love to know your thoughts. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.