Review: Redeeming Blackwood

Review: Redeeming Blackwood

Throughout the entirety of the first 2 books, I’ve been asking myself “what is the significance of Blackwood?” and Khaiah Thomson didn't disappoint in delivering those answers in this final instalment. A mesmerising finale, Thomson's Redeeming Blackwood intertwines destiny, power, and the unbreakable bonds of love."

Freya, a syphon, is on the brink of uncovering the full extent of her formidable abilities as she confronts the most powerful adversaries within her magical society. Despite her considerable powers and the emergence of 'Red' she realises she cannot face these challenges alone. To triumph, she must forge a connection with the original power source, the enigmatic and omnipotent Blackwood. We now have Freya's final stand, between ancient magic and ultimate sacrifice lies the fate of Blackwood.

Thomson's narrative prowess shines brightly as she navigates the complexities of this world, intertwining the supernatural with the fabric of everyday life. The protagonist, Freya, stands at the epicentre of this confluence, her quest to decipher the ancient and mystic ties that bind her lineage to the all-encompassing force of Blackwood propelling the story forward. Thomson’s adeptness at rendering these age-old magics and rituals imbues the tale with a palpable sense of awe and reverence, immersing the reader in a world where the extraordinary is the norm.

The character of Freya is masterfully fleshed out, evolving from the previous instalments into a multi-dimensional heroine whose struggles resonate with a universal audience. Her journey is one of self-discovery, fraught with power struggles, ethical dilemmas, and the perennial quest for understanding her place within a world brimming with unseen forces. Her relationship with Beau, layered with newfound revelations about his past and powers, adds a rich tapestry of emotional depth and complexity to the narrative. Freya's journey is intense! She's grappling with this immense power, exploring farther into her family's secrets, and figuring out where she and Beau stand amidst all this chaos. And let's talk about Beau, learning about his past and powers adds so many layers to the story. Plus, there's this looming threat from Csilla, pushing Freya to make impossible choices.

“Because Csilla gave me the ultimatum to join her or watch everyone I love die. She made it clear that can’t keep him if I agree to join her. She might think he’s the reason I’m hesitating. We don’t know what gifts she has and if Beau can resist them.”

Yet, it is not just Freya and Beau who command the reader's attention. The Sinclair family, with their intricate history and Dire Wolf lineage, adds a profound layer of intrigue and enriches the story's fabric. Other characters like Reagan, with their unique abilities, offer varied perspectives and deepen the narrative complexity, showcasing Thomson's skill in creating a vibrant cast that reflects the story's multifaceted nature.

“One thing I’ve learned from seeing hundreds of potential futures is that sometimes, no matter how different the journey is, the outcome can remain the same.”

Thomson's world-building is unparalleled just like it was in book 1 and 2, with Blackwood itself emerging as a character (FINALLY), its ancient pulse influencing events and shaping destinies. And Blackwood is never as you expected.

Action sequences in the novel are meticulously crafted, with a cinematic quality that thrusts the reader into the heart of the conflict. The last few chapters were STUNNING! Each scene is imbued with a sense of urgency and significance, reflective of the high stakes that define Freya's world. The strategic use of a Null forcefield and the intricacies of supernatural combat are particularly notable, showcasing Thomson's imaginative prowess and attention to detail.

Redeeming Blackwood transcends the boundaries of action and adventure, delving into the deeper, darker recesses of the human (and non-human) experience. The narrative explores themes of guilt, redemption, and the indomitable human spirit's struggle against overwhelming odds. It's a testament to Thomson's writing that these themes are woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story, enriching the narrative without overwhelming the reader.

It is a triumphant finale to a series that has captivated and enthralled from the outset. Thomson's skill in blending the fantastical with the profoundly human, her intricate characterisations, and her immersive world-building culminate in a narrative that is both a celebration and a meditation on the nature of power, identity, and legacy. It is a fitting end to a saga that has, at its heart, always been about exploring the unknown and finding one's place within it.

For fans of the genre and newcomers alike, Redeeming Blackwood is a compelling, unputdownable read that cements Khaiah Thomson's status as a luminary in the world of fantasy literature.

If you loved reading ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo, ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo, ‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard ‘Caraval’ by Stephanie Garber, ‘An Ember in the Ashes’ by Sabaa Tahir, you will love this series.

Review by Peta Carolan, @unfoldededges

Redeeming Blackwood by Khaiah Thomson is available for preorder now.


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