I don’t even know where to really begin with this book because… Oh my lord, THIS BOOK! Be forewarned, this review won’t contain purposeful spoilers, but since it’s the last book in a trilogy, if you haven’t read the first two books then 1. You should go do that—immediately. And 2. This review may spoil some things from those books just because that’s the nature of this particular beast. I don’t usually fangirl in my book reviews, but when it comes to Hackett’s books, it’s really hard for me not to. Her stories are magical and full of adventure and twists and turns, her characters are endearing and complex, she gives you just enough sweetness before punching you in the gut, but then makes it up to you with fun character banter. “Ventus” pays off on all of the set up from the previous two books but with some of my favorite character arcs and redemptions of the whole series.
It’s impossible not to love Nat, Camion, Meryn, Jyn, and Andimir. We had the privilege of watching this crew come together, battle the forces against them, and still shoulder the burden of trying to save a kingdom that has done nothing but hate their queen (rude of them). Nat is one of the most relatable royals I’ve read in a long time. She isn’t all powerful, she gets knocked down almost as much as she does something awesome. She is brought to the brink of being broken, and it’s a testament to the power of her love for Cam and her friends that she is able to keep going after what she endures. It’s a beautiful sentiment, and it’s such a powerful thing to build a book around. It’s a great message for young readers too, especially ones who may struggle to see themselves in characters who are naturally good at everything, that don’t struggle with anxiety. The friendships in this book shine as always, but I have to say, the redemption of one of the former bad guys was probably one of my favorite things about this final book.
I love me a good redemption arc, especially one that’s as believably crafted as Hackett has accomplished. It’s so easy to pass off a character as irredeemable because of their mistakes, but watching them see they were wrong, admit they were wrong, and become comfortable with changing their mind about opinions they held for so long… I didn’t know how much I needed that from a character until they were waving at me from the page. There are other amazing things in this book of course, there’s more incredible magic, we see more of the Titans and their devastating powers, we get more Dwarves, and smoldering looks from broody boys, there’s touching true love stories, heart pounding action, and scary magical creatures—plus a few really cute ones that I desperately want for myself! But the redemption arc was unexpected in a truly wonderful way, and I appreciated that the author was able to redeem this character, and I hope to see more of them maybe in the future?
I had the privilege of beta reading an early draft of “Ventus” and the book gutted me then, and even more so in its final form. Despite the heartbreak that comes naturally with any last book in a trilogy, this book left me feeling so deliciously content and satisfied come the final page, too. This is honestly the closest I’ve ever come to a true book hangover where I can’t immediately start a new book. It’s been an absolute pleasure to follow Hackett on her writing journey and I am so beyond proud of her and what she’s accomplished with her series that there are just no words… Even if I didn’t know the author personally, I’d still gush and recommend this series to the moon and back. The author CARES about her characters, her books, her readers, and it shows in every page, and every word. So yeah, of course this gets 5 stars from me! Do yourself a favor: read this series. Share this series. Give it to the teenagers in your life so they know family doesn’t always mean blood, and you can accomplish great things with the power of love and hope.
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