Release Date: 1 March 2022
Nothing can stop the demon tide....
Newly exposed as the Black Witch of Prophecy, Elloren Gardner Grey is on the run, not knowing if she'll find friends or foes. With her fastmate, Lukas Grey, either dead or in the hands of High Mage Marcus Vogel, Elloren knows the only chance of turning the tide of the coming war is to seek allies who will listen long enough not to kill her on sight.
In the Eastern Realm, Water Fae Tierney Calix and Elloren's brother Trystan have joined the Wyvernguard to prepare for Vogel's attack. But Trystan is fighting on two fronts, as the most despised and least trusted member of the guard. And Tierney's bond with Erthia's most powerful river has exposed a danger even more terrifying than the looming war.
The Black Witch is back, and the Prophecy is at hand. It's time to fight. But Vogel has one more earth-shattering revelation for them all.
This book was like being in elementary school again and sitting down for the 100th day in a row to do double-digit long division, even though I had already mastered the concept shortly after its introduction to me. Everything in the plot was inanely repetitive. The amount of times stuff blasted, zipped, zinged, blazed, ignited, flooded, soared, walked, crawled, sneezed, or tumbled, etc. through a characters “lines” happens so often, if one were to attempt a drinking game with the occurrences, he or she would suffer terribly from alcohol poisoning.
I read this series on recommendation of a bookish friend, and when I started, I was very invested in it until the third book. After The Iron Flower, I feel the The Black Witch Chronicles peaked and the other books have been a mad scramble of back planning to get the series finished and fill in inadvertent plot holes with resurrections that are almost as numerable as the shiverings of feeling and magic through everyone’s lines.
Additionally, though the returning characters are well developed, each of the overabundant new characters in the story only serve as couplings for the veterans, and fall flat with the purpose of their use to only give some happiness to the ones we already know. Book 4 in a Chronicle is not the time to introduce so many new lands, characters, and magical abilities and concepts to an audience. And though I have not read the novellas available in eBook format, and have perhaps lost some things from the lack of reading them, novellas, which are auxiliary stories, are not where a myriad of new stuff should be inserted into a series, either.
Underneath all of the plot failure debacle, the books culminate on this one in an argument for solidarity and syncretism, though Elloren and her band of unlikely friends find that, while it works for their small group, it does not necessarily work for the rest of Erthia. All religions and races originate from one in this book, from the forest of magic, and though the intermingling and separating of the peoples through all types of expulsion from the forest, whether voluntary or involuntary, there are so many harborings of hurt and such unwillingness to forgive others for wrongs not they but people who look like them committed, there seems to be no hope for a unity of effort to repel Vogel from his attempt to destroy everything and take over the world in the name of the “Ancient One on High.”
I can’t really find anything good in this book to highlight in order to salvage how deeply disappointed I was in it. I saw everything coming, pegged the impending death spoiled vaguely in many sad reviews to the exact character, and was not at all surprised at the second coming of some character(s) long thought dead. I guess if there were to be one positive thing, it would be that Vogel and his ilk are not the only racist ones in the book; many of the other types of creatures in Erthia hold similar standards of purity among their own kind, and the narrator most emphatically portrays any of these inclinations as bad, which is good for continuity, I guess.
I’ll definitely read the last one, as I’ve invested so much time in the series, but I won’t be purchasing the series, and I can’t say that I would recommend it past the second book.