With this being the final book there will be spoilers not only for this book but for the whole series. You have been warned.
The final book in Armstrong’s Age of Legends trilogy and we pick up where we left off. Ashyn and Moria are separated and seem to be in completely different worlds to one another. Not only that but Alvar has almost finished massing his army and will make for the capital as soon as he has a dragon. Yeah, you read that right a dragon. I wasn’t expecting that either but I must say it was a nice addition to the tale.
Throughout the series we have seen the sisters encounter strange and terrifying creatures with the sole purpose of killing and yet, they have managed to survive it all and reach the end of their journey. What I loved about them is they are not badass’, neither of them know how to fight and Armstrong shows us their journey from non-fighters to slightly competent ones. Even in this final book they are still not amazing and that is great. Although it is a fantasy book Armstrong has kept some form of verisimilitude in how they grow up and what they are actually capable of doing with a weapon. Or not as Ashyn’s case is. From the very beginning she has not been much of a fighter and throughout we have seen her struggle to fight are to learn how to fight. A healer by nature and by power, she shines through as a beacon of light. And that is not to say that Moria is not a beacon of light, she is. She has taken on every challenge possible for herself, her sister and her friends, never faltering in front of them but putting on a brave face. I can’t pick a favourite between them; they complement each other so well yet separately are just as formidable in their own ways.
And now we move onto Gavril, Ronan and Tyrus, the girl’s companions in their journey. I will admit I have not always like Gavril but, throughout the books I really did warm to him and when I was coming to the end of the novel I wanted to throw it down, it turns out I had warmed to him more than I had thought. Ronan is Ashyn’s love interest, kind of. They have very on off without actually being together which was great because it felt like a very real teenage romance. Neither knowing whether the other was interested but still tiptoeing around like they were. Ronan has always been a very likeable character and his ending was the best one I could have hoped for. And Tyrus, a late addition to the group by any means but he slotted in well. While Gavril showed the audience that a male and female can be friends and nothing more Tyrus showed us that a little bit passion and modesty are very attractive traits in a character. He came in and whipped Moria off her feet giving her everything she has been dreaming about since book one.
Together the five of them work to bring about the ending of Alvar, Garvil’s father who is threatening to destroy the empire. The ending of the novel was calm and controlled and that suited the book completely. Most fantasy books conclude with an epic battle of huge proportions which sometimes take away from the message the book has been delivering. As the “Forest of Ruin” focus’s almost entirely on stature, lineage and hierarchy the ending was everything I wanted and more. But I won’t spoil you but telling 😉 .
As I said earlier the addition of the dragons was a very nice touch and how they come about reviving one sets of the novel in a fast paced way that leaves you hooked throughout.
All in all I have loved every second of the series and following these characters through their journeys both together and as individuals. While I wish for more I can only hope that others will pick up this series and enjoy it as I have.