To wrap up her deservedly popular series, Sage calls back nearly all of the first six volumes’ cast members, living and dead, for a fresh flurry of Magykal feats and threats from the Darke.
It’s more of a grand parade than a concerted rush to the finish. Princess Jenna’s coronation approaches; alchemist Marcellus Pye has secretly rekindled a massive Fyre deep beneath the sprawling Castle; two powerful Darke wizards have escaped and are bent on revenge after centuries of imprisonment. These events all set off an extended whirl of journeys, narrowly averted disasters and frantic searches for missing people or spells against a backdrop of reunions, encounters with ghosts, humorous or romantic (or both) set pieces, and characters settling in to their adult roles and domestic situations. Preceded by a tardy flashback to the origin of the evil Two-Faced Ring (introduced back in Volume 4, Queste, 2008), the string of crises major and minor serves as much to get everyone on stage, at least briefly, as to advance the plot. Nor is the outcome ever really in doubt, as the author shepherds her ensemble to an ultimate settling of both ancient feuds and all the major characters’ futures amid a wash of bonhomie so relentless that one character actually intones “All will be well in the best of all possible worlds.”
A disorganized but amiable farewell—with hints of a spinoff series in the works. (map, finely detailed character studies at chapter heads) (Fantasy. 10-13)