Title: Warrior Witch
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #3
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook, 384 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot Books
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Rating: 2 out 5 stars
The thrilling conclusion to the breakout Malediction Trilogy by Goodreads Choice finalist Danielle L. Jensen.
Cécile and Tristan have accomplished the impossible, but their greatest challenge remains: defeating the evil they have unleashed upon the world.
As they scramble for a way to protect the people of the Isle and liberate the trolls from their tyrant king, Cécile and Tristan must battle those who’d see them dead. To win, they will risk everything. And everyone.
But it might not be enough. Both Cécile and Tristan have debts, and they will be forced to pay them at a cost far greater than they had ever imagined.
In Warrior Witch, the final book in the Malediction Trilogy, Cécile must face the consequences of what she’s done and prepare for war. With enemies coming from all sides and debts waiting to be paid, she and Tristan must learn to play the game before their opponents outmaneuver them. The stakes are high and require great sacrifices, of which both Cécile and Tristan are forced to make. In protecting the Isle and the people they love, no price is too high to be paid.
This conclusion has been eagerly awaited by many, I’m sure. With a title and a cover like that, everyone would be lusting after this release, plus this story has gathered quite the few devoted fans. I’m sad to say I’m not one of them. After finishing Stolen Songbird, which I really looked forward to reading, I found myself somewhat disappointed, but still engrossed enough to try for the next book. A couple of chapters in, I had to put down Hidden Huntress and call it a day. I ended up picking it up again recently when I got approved for this title on NetGalley, hoping I would grow into if not loving then at least liking this series. Ended up skimming the entire book, sadly.
I wish Warrior Witch didn’t suffer the same fate, but unfortunately it did. After a very dull beginning (which lasted the entire first half of the book, I might add) I began to skip over lines, paragraphs, and then entire chapters. I cannot for the life of me tell you what when on during the second half of this book, because a) I skimmed it almost entirely, and b) from the parts I read, it was a huge mess. That being said, nothing really happens and the plot just drags on until the ending chapters, and then slows down again at the few closing chapters. From the very beginning I found it very difficult to follow, things happened so fast while nothing of substance was actually really happening.
Another thing I found difficult was relating to the characters. At times I knew I was supposed to feel something, to exhibit some kind of emotion, but it was as if I were made of stone. The side characters were pretty much non-existent to me, merely plot devices to the two main ones. Speaking of which, I found them completely unbearable and inconsistent. Cécile was reckless and claimed to want to save those she loved, but was constantly putting them in danger instead by plunging into not-thought-through plans and stupid decisions. Tristan was almost as unbearable, from I read from him anyway, as he was either moping after Cécile, or not acknowledging her at all. I feel like he wouldn’t have gotten in most of the situations he did get in if he wasn’t too hell bent on making sure Cécile was safe and comfortable.
The romance between Cécile and Tristan was so rocky, worse than in the previous books because at least in those we actually saw some grain of emotion and concern for each other. In Warrior Witch, it was either “Oh, my love needs me! I must save them!” or “What the hell is a Cécile/Tristan?” At times the author completely forgot to add in the romance factor that I wondered if they were even supposed to be in love with each other after all.
It was the ending that made me feel something, finally, after two books of stone-faced empathy. I’m not going to lie, I’m a sucker for these kinds of endings and those few chapters tore at my heart despite my annoyance with this book. But then the last chapter happened and it kind of ruined the whole setting for me. It was a cop-out on the author’s behalf, maybe done out of fear of disappointing readers. Well, that backfired because I am Disappointed. That last chapter ruined everything, in my opinion, because it was such a shallow way of creating peace, demolishing the value of Cécile’s character development during that time. Sometimes a little wrench to the gut is a good thing, especially with the story of loss and sacrifice this book tried to tell.
Overall, I really hoped that this book will atone for its predecessors’ sins, but alas, it was not to be. I think fans of this trilogy will be delighted with this final installment, especially if they enjoyed Hidden Huntress as well, but I guess that the Malediction Trilogy just wasn’t my cup of tea.