Lily’s adventures go international! Part one see’s Lily, Sebastian and Kipling make their way over to the UK, doing the best they can for Madam Barrington before they leave. Although in a bad way, she is able to impart a bit of knowledge to Lily to help her make a start when she arrives. Thankfully Kipling is able to join them on this leg of the series and provides the usual comedy relief, whilst Lily sets hard at work tracking down the people and places which can help her most in her quest to locate Morgan’s final resting place and hopefully before John Faust. Whilst in Revelations, Lily was able to reconnect with her family (good and bad) this is an opportunity for Sebastian to do likewise, although he does have to navigate the tricky waters of being a witch in a wizarding family! This books is pretty much UK based and as a Brit who has visited Oxford, I was interested about how this would be realised. Massive props to Lydia Sherrer have to be given, girl has done her research! I could picture the places spoken of as I was reading and I love the description of the old stone buildings taking up a different feeling as Lily traverses them at night; as it’s true that the old stone buildings and narrow streets do seem foreboding when the darkness draws in. I also enjoyed that our narrow “country lanes” got a mention and it’s likely that they would probably be quite the driving rollercoaster for someone used to the huge interstates of the US!
The interlude takes a different approach with both Lily and Sebastian together and the tale turns on it’s head as it becomes almost high fantasy with the fae realm taking centre stage. It gives amazing insight into Sebastian’s back story though and I was glad to see Lily return to her high spiritedness that she kind of lost in Allies.
The final part is a real payoff insofar as story arc goes. I really enjoyed how almost all of Lily’s discoveries and previous encounters help her in lots of ways with this part of her quest. It’s all very thoughtfully done and a real test of Lily and the others to track down Morgan’s final resting place. The explorations and puzzle solving are a joy to read and make me want to visit Tintagel even more than I already did! The showdown is nothing short of epic (i’m desperate to say more but you know, spoilers) but also quite emotionally fraught as Lily must hope for a perilous plan to go completely right, whilst secretly hoping for a potential defection from John Faust’s camp to aid her if there are any mishaps.
One of the many things I love about this series is that each section is tied off with an epilogue. I don’t mind cliffhangers but I like that even though there are unanswered questions in Lily’s world, things are still brought to a satisfying close. I found this even more of a necessity at the closing stages of the final part of book 4, there are some big things that are going on and I found this epilogue to be both particularly touching and hopeful. I hope that book 5 isn’t too far away.