Before I finished the series with the conclusion, The Bitter Kingdom, I reread the first two books. Since this is one of my favorite series, I thought it might be a good idea to highlight it by doing a series review.
This review is spoiler-free! I will only point out all the things I love, without going into details.
The first thing what makes this series so good is the magical writing-style from Carson. It reads so fast and it always makes you want to read more, more, more! She uses enough details to create a wonderful world and interesting characters without information-dumps. I was completely sucked into the story and I had no problems imagining I was there. The pacing is very nice. It’s consistent and there is never a boring moment in this fantastic plot.
The second thing is the emotional rollercoaster. This book takes you from happiness down to the bottom of disaster. I’ve laughed and cried together with Elisa and her friends. I’ve felt triumph and sadness. I felt so connected to the characters and their faith, that I was able to feel all their emotions. It’s one hell of a ride! Be prepared for all the feelings, because there are heart-breaking scenes and moments with a lot of action and tension. There are also touches of romance that made me swoon.
The third thing I want to mention are the characters. We see Elisa develop from someone who isn’t happy with herself to someone who embraces her personality and power. She transforms from the over-weighed, shy girl into a leader with clever decision. I absolutely love Elisa. The only thing that could have been improved is that I would have loved to see her self-image change, instead of her weight. Despite that, I found Elisa strong in her own way and intelligent. Her flaws are her strength and it’s not strange that people are willing to die for her.
No review is complete without mentioning Hector and Humberto. I’m not going to say anything more about them, but you definitely want to meet these guys! There are also more secondary characters, all with distinctive voices and roles. I especially liked Mara, Tristan and Storm. Storm is sarcastic and never afraid to speak his minds, which ends up with blunt and harsh (but honest) words.
The last thing, and that is always important for me, the quality of the story is amazing. There is a build-up in the first two books and it explodes and delivers in the last book. The plot continues to be interesting in every book; there is no second-book-syndrome. It also ends like I wish all books/series ends: everything tied together, satisfying. No anti-climax or disappointing conclusion here!