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Book Review: Until the Last

Table of Contents


The breakneck conclusion to the trilogy that started with We Are the Dead. To beat the ultimate evil, sometimes the price is more than you can pay . . .

The war with the Egril has changed Tinnstra forever. A coward no more, she’ll go to any length to defeat every last one of her enemies.

Zorique has grown into her powers. It’s time for her to lead her army into Jia and spearhead the fight for her homeland.

But at what cost? The Egril emperor Raaku – the Son of Kage himself – is waiting for them. And he intends to destroy Zorique, Tinnstra and all their allies.

They will need to put everything on the line if Jia hopes to see the dawn.”

Title: Until the Last

Series: The Last War #3

Author: Mike Shackle

Page Count: 784

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: November 11th, 2023

Until the Last was a mini-buddy read as we finally wrap up this series that we started with our buddy read group last year. A couple of us have been progressing through the rest of the series as we are able to work it in. I was excited for this one as I really liked the first two books in The Last War series.
One thing we noticed as we prepared for this read was the fact that the third book seemed considerably larger than the previous two. For that reason, I decided to opt for the audiobook version narrated by Nicola Bryant.
The overall pacing I felt was good. However, by the mid-point of Until the Last, it seemed things were starting to drag on a bit. I don’t really think any point seemed like a slog. It just seemed that some of it was feeling a bit long winded. I didn’t get bored with the story at any point but I did drift mentally once in awhile. This was my first exposure to Nicola Bryant but I felt he did a solid job with the narration. By the end of this read I mentioned to my buddy that it felt like the author was thinking this was going to be an additional book and then decided it had to be wrapped up in book three.
The world building was another strong aspect as it was in the previous two. We continued to have things come back around from the first two books as we neared the end of this story. It just added to the overall depth of this world and it’s story.
The character development was also solid. Even if I was continuously frustrated with how things ended up with my favorite character Jax, the author does a really good job in getting us to feel for so many characters. Whether we understand, respect, love or despise them, there are plenty of emotions to be had with these characters. There were a couple of characters that I was constantly frustrated with what they were doing or how they were interacting with each other. This isn’t to take away from the author, I simply point it out because it was memorable. I’ve had plenty of characters read this year that I simply didn’t care one way or another. I didn’t have many of those type of characters in Until the Last.
When all is said and done, I still enjoyed this read even if I felt slight disappointed from the buildup of how much I enjoyed the first two books.
If you like your fantasy stories to have flawed characters that constantly struggle both internally and within the world and that world is on the darker side of things, I still feel this is a solid series to get into.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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