I finally finished this series. I really thought I would get through it faster than I did, but the last book just couldn’t hold my attention. I still haven’t figured out what it was either. I liked the world, which was vast and varied. The characters were complex and unique. The story was solid and the writing was good. I really have a hard time thinking of any real flaws in the book, yet I would consistently put it down after five or ten minutes.
The story picks up where the second book left off, and works its way toward a good, but not great conclusion. Most of the twists and turns take place during the story, leaving the ending, if not predictable, then at least unsurprising. Funke also left some room for her to revisit the world in the future, though likely with different characters.
The characters really drive the story, as they are complex and interesting, but there are a lot of them, and that spreads the development a little thin. Some characters that didn’t get much attention in the previous book star in this one, but that leaves some of the other major characters a little stagnant. I didn’t see nearly as much character growth as I was expecting.
I’m not quite sure what I think of the series as a whole. It had a really strong start, but each subsequent book struggled to hold my attention. At the same time, the world got more complex and the story stayed strong throughout. There was a large shift in setting from book one to book two, and maybe that’s what threw me off, or maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood when I started reading them. I’m not sure, but I think this was just one of those series that was technically fine, but not to my taste. While that’s a little disappointing, since I wanted to like the series, it happens, and I’m still glad I made it through.