Published: January 3rd 2017 by Penguin
Format: Paperback, 463 pages
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Reading Challenges: 2017 Australian Women Writers Reading Challenge
Lovers in Kaya have always died in pairs, but you can't always choose who you fall in love with. What would you do if your sworn enemy was also your soulmate?
The kingdom of Kaya has been overthrown by a dark power. Trapped inside the capital, rebel leader Isadora fights the only way she can – by hunting those more monstrous than her.
Falco is the exiled emperor of a nation in tatters. But fate demands he rise to meet his sworn enemy, the deadly Sparrow.
No one is safe from the evil sweeping the lands, not even those in the far north strongholds of Pirenti. Crown Prince Thorne is plagued by ghosts, Lady Roselyn by the past. With his land and loved ones under threat, King Ambrose must find the strength to show his people a new way of life, or allow the nation’s legacy of violence to consume them.
As world’s end draws near the undeniable power of the bond ties Isadora and Falco together. The death of one means the death of both. But Isadora has never before surrendered to fate. She is determined to break free and choose her own path, no matter the cost.
Isadora is everything I wanted for the last instalment of The Chronicles of Kaya. It was brilliantly written and emotional, and I raced through it in two sittings. Falco and Isadora are probably my favourite pair from this series.
Everything about this novel was so heartbreaking. Ava and Ambrose, and Finn and Thorne, were enemies too but it was nothing like Isadora and Falco. These two weren’t simply born to hate each other, and weren’t simply one another’s antithesis. The past binds Falco and Isadora together in a way neither could have predicted. It was difficult to watch (read?) them fight one another and against the force that bound them together. I think some readers will be disappointed or even frustrated, but I liked the angst of it all.
I loved Isadora’s determination and her stubborn nature, even though she sometimes couldn’t see what was right in front of her nose. Falco, on the other hand, was awesome both as Emperor Feckless and as his true self. I loved that both Falco and Isadora didn’t know themselves, and they spent much of this book figuring it out. In this sense, I respect that they had to do it alone, though it was still agonising to see them fight against the inevitable!
As expected, the secondary cast shone in this book. Ava and Ambrose were brilliant, and it was nice see more of their daughters. Finn and Thorne were as fiery as always, but time had certainly made them stronger. Penn is my favourite, of course, and I loved the part he played in the book (though it was unbearably sad).
I love the way McConaghy writes and I feel her story-craft is strongest with this instalment. This book in intense; tightly woven and well plotted, rich in both detail and emotion. The complexity, in both character and plot, was handled superbly.
I loved Isadora! I’m sad to see the series end but I think it’s been a wonderful journey. I’ve enjoyed every moment. This is a story-world I’ll definitely return to, to read and re-read my favourite bits and immerse myself again. And that’s probably the best praise I can give: that it’s not only readable, but re-readable!