Sunday, June 09, 2013

Review: The Eighth Court by Mike Shevdon- June 9, 2013

The Eighth Court
Author:  Mike Shevdon
Series:  The Courts of the Feyre
Publisher:  Angry Robot, May 28, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780857662279 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

The Eighth Court has been established, but petty rivalries and old disputes threaten its stability. The mongrels that make up the court are not helping, and Blackbird enlists the help of the warders to keep the peace.

Has Blackbird bitten off more than she can chew, and can the uneasy peace between the courts continue under such tension and rivalry?

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ A New Dawn | Uneasy Alliances | Eight Into One | End Of An Era ]

Melanie's Thoughts:

The Eighth Court is the fourth and final book in an all round excellent series. This book follows closely after Strangeness and Charm with Blackbird fighting to establish her court, the eighth court of half blood fey. The acceptance of their right to exist and to form a court has caused dissension amongst the other courts with some in favour and others against. Blackbird struggles to establish her court against her critics while raising her and Niall's young baby.

For Niall, this final book leads him on the chase across London for answers to the mystery of the theft of the nails and hammer from the Quit Rents ceremony. This ceremony and its importance was the focus from book 1 of this series, Sixty-One Nails. As he searches for answers he is plagued by memories from centuries ago....the memories from the protectors of humanity against the seventh court. These memories are like a mini history lesson where Shevdon cleverly merges fact and fiction in the history of the English monarchy.

The Eighth Court is very much a journey of discovery - Niall's journey to save the Quit Rents ceremony, Blackbird's journey to establish her court, Alex's journey to adulthood. There are so many wonderful things to say about this book but I hesitate to tell anything that would hinder your journey of discovery - the journey to discover whether Blackbird succeeds in establishing her court, whether Alex learns to control her powers, who has stolen the 61 nails and why, and finally what do Niall's memories really mean?

A number of the characters from the other books in the series make an appearance in this final book which make it feel like a bit of a homecoming. Shevdon is a master of mixing real historical events with fantasy and I always feel a bit smarter having finished one of these books. He got the balance right in this book with the pace, characterization and mystery. I was gripped from page one. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading this book and sad that it is the final one. It is truly bittersweet. While it is the final book with no more tales of Blackbird and Niall, I feel that Shevdon crafted the story so well that it fit perfectly over the four books. There aren't enough great things I can say other than leave you with this - this is a must read, a great book and one of my favourites this year.


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