Book Review: The End of All Things by Jill Williamson

The title says it all.

Before you proceed…

~SPOILER WARNING~

If you haven’t read Darkness Reigns and The Heir War, halt your forward progress forthwith and take yourself quickly to a cozy corner where you can read them.

The End of All ThingsIf you have, continue, good citizen.

The End of All Things concludes the trio of parts that make up King’s Folly, which released in paperback last week.

Destruction looms. The end nears. What will become of the Five Realms? More importantly, what will become of the characters?

Summary:

With the Five Realms on the brink of total destruction, everyone faces a final mad scramble to find a safe haven. The realm is divided on what should be done. Wilek and Trevn join those who are preparing the realm for a seaward evacuation, but the king stands in their way. Wilek must battle against his own father to try and save the people of Armania.

Plot

In a way, this final part was the end of the trilogy. Where promises were fulfilled, storylines converged, mysteries were solved, and the tale wrapped up in a satisfying conclusion.

Except not.

Because King’s Folly is only the first book in the Kinsman Chronicles. The End of All Things certainly contained those elements, yet we’ve seen only a slice of what’s in store. Plot threads remain open-ended, character arcs unfinished. It’s as if, with this final part, the book is saying, “Here, have your first course of dinner…but don’t forget, dessert is coming.”

That’s the beauty here. An epic story has begun. Where its headed, I can only imagine, but I’m committed to the journey. The conclusion of this leg on the path wasn’t what I expected. Not as mind-blowing or jarring, but laced with surprises, plenty of action, and a healthy dose of intrigue.

And of course, the impending doom promised throughout the course of the book. The question now is, what happens next?

Setting

Rarely have I seen such a richly developed, detailed world as the one revealed in the Five Realms. As I plowed through the pages, my fantasy lover and inner writer bounded around in joyful delight at the myriad worldbuilding sights along the way.

So thorough. So creative.

This installment continued to develop the world, uncovering more hidden aspects that had my imagination spinning. When I read a fantasy book, I want to experience the world as if I’m living in the lands, breathing in the smells, hearing the sounds, seeing the otherworldly locations.

Done. Done. And done.

Characters

One of the strengths of this book was its ability to seamlessly blend epic-scale goings-on with personal, intimate perspectives. Any time you’re dealing with a grand tale that spans the world, it’s easy to miss the trees for the forest, as it were. To gloss over the consequences for individuals in the face of everything happening.

The solution?

A memorable cast of characters. Beginning with the intrepid Trevn, all the way to conflicted Charlon, the characters make this story tick. The apocalyptic events are worth paying attention to because it impacts them.

Every POV character has a compelling storyline and strong motivation. As a reader, I had questions I had to have answered.

  • Would Trevn uncover the answers he’s after?
  • Would Charlon’s devious plan succeed?
  • Would Kal and the others make their way back to Armania?

You’ll have to read it to find out. 😉

A fascinating aspect of the characters was the silver in the dross. Corruption, greed, selfishness, loose morals, and a hundred other things abounded across the realms. In the midst of this, even if buying into pieces of the darkness, the characters refused to fully submit. They held to their convictions.

And some showed glimmers of hope that they would move fully out of the darkness. I can’t wait to see where their story arcs lead.

Not the End

The last three words of the book…not the end. A perfect way to wrap up this part and springboard forward into an unknown lurking with danger, brimming with opportunity, and promising many more adventures.

As I said, this is only the start of what I think will be a fantabulous epic fantasy.

If you’ve read The End of All Things, what did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Comments

Book Review: The End of All Things by Jill Williamson — 2 Comments

  1. I haven’t read any of these, but I’ve seen this author’s name popping up all over the place lately, so I’m going to have to check her out!

    I tried to send you a note via your “contact” form, but I’m not sure how often you check that (I know I forget to check that aspect of my own blog a lot). Anyway, an author/blogger friend of mine (http://djedwardson.com) and I are trying to put together a sort of “Fantasy Oscars” this summer and are attempting to recruit other bloggers and authors to help out with presenting the awards. I can send you more info if you’re interested – you can shoot me an email at jenelle.l.schmidt@gmail.com if you want to know more about what we’re doing. It’s not a huge time-commitment, just a ton of fun! The basics would be that you’d have to post 3 blog posts over the course of 6 weeks (two of which would be mostly written for you – as they would be opening the nominations and posting the voting form), so only the third post would require creativity as you’d be presenting the award AS a character from Lord of the Rings. Anyway, we’d love to have you if you’re interested. Jennette Mbewe is helping out and recommended that we contact you because she thought you’d think it’s fun!

    • Yes, Jill is an amazing writer. I’ve only read her fantasy so far and I absolutely love it.

      Wow, Jenelle, that sounds like a crazy cool idea. Jennette was right…I think that would be a blast. I’ll definitely be in touch about getting involved. Thanks for letting me know, and thanks for reading! 😀

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