In this fantasy sequel, the final volume in the trilogy that began with The Goblin Wood (2003), a highly suspenseful plot leads to a thoroughly satisfying and surprising conclusion.
Picking up at the immediate end of the previous novel, Bell ratchets up the suspense immediately and makes this finale a true page turner. Having returned from the Otherworld that was draining all power from the goblins and hedgewitch Makenna, all characters become fixed on solving the problem of the barbarians in the south. The point of view switches from one to another of a reluctant triumvirate made up of Makenna and brothers Jeriah and Tobin. One very satisfying aspect of the series is the growth these characters have seen throughout the three books. Jeriah has become a resilient clergyman who knows what needs to be done and does it; Makenna has grown beyond her hatred of humans, thus improving her effectiveness with magic; and heroic Tobin has proven himself an astute strategist. The climax uses these combined qualities as well as all the guile and courage that the goblins can muster to reach a stunning ending.
This rewarding resolution caps off a fascinating, engaging trilogy that holds appeal for a diverse fantasy audience. (Fantasy. 12 & up)