This is the third part of the Proving Trilogy, and there were big reveals in the first two parts which it’s difficult to avoid mentioning in this review. If you haven’t read them yet and don’t want to spoil the surprise, don’t read on.
Werewolves are part of my unholy trinity – along with vampires and zombies – which I will NOT read about, no matter what. Or so I thought. But this is the series that made me love werewolves. Who’d a thunk it? But then this is an unusual urban fantasy in many ways. The main character, Kate, isn’t a badass teenage girl snarking her way through life, and doing nothing but drool over the hot blokes. She’s the mother of a young boy, and heaven knows that makes a refreshing change. Now, there’s a certain amount of snark (she’s Australian, so that goes with the territory), and there’s a little drooling too, it has to be said. But Kate has her priorities sorted, and her son Lachie is at the top of the list.
Kate spent the first book of the series working out what was going on, and trying to survive the Proving, a fight to the death between daughters of the current dragon queen – last one standing gets to inherit the crown. Kate doesn’t want to be queen, but wants to be dead even less, so in the second book she stepped up to the plate to take on her sisters, and her mother. But Finlayson is a demon with those unexpected twists – just when you think Kate must surely be safe, some new and terrifying disaster hits. And at the end of book 2, she’s blindsided by new revelations, to set things up brilliantly for this book.
But Kate isn’t the passive I-want-to-be-human weakling she was at the start of the trilogy. Previously, she’s turned to her dragon-side as a last resort – to save her son, for instance – but now she fully embraces her dragon nature, and truly takes on the role of leader. And yet she never forgets her human side, either, and that’s a difference that gives her a unique advantage, both physically and psychologically.
This book felt slightly less frenetic than the previous two, but that’s partly because Kate is more in charge now, and taking control of her life. Even so, there are still plenty of twists and turns along the way, and the action rarely lets up. And just when you think everything is tied up with neat little bows, Finlayson has one last surprise up her sleeve, which I did NOT see coming. Finally, Kate’s romantic life reaches a resolution at last, and a very satisfactory one it is too.
Everything I look for in fantasy is right here – compelling characters, a fascinating premise and a plot that rattles along with a new surprise round every corner. Add in the author’s terrific writing style, a healthy dollop of Aussie humour and lots of dragons, not to mention werewolves and a whole raft of other shifters, and this is another five stars. I highly recommend the whole trilogy, and not just to urban fantasy fans.