Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book Review: The Council of Mirrors by Michael Buckley (Sisters Grimm #9)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Satisfying wrap up to the story with real character development
Cons: A bit dark and grim at times, but in keeping with the series
The Bottom Line
Saga's conclusion
Great characters and story
Leaves fans satisfied

Grimm Conclusion

Some series go on and on past the point where they are truly entertaining.  Others find the right spot to end things and wrap up all the arcs they set out to create.  That’s the case with The Council of Mirrors, the ninth and final book in the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley.

In the first book, Sabrina and Daphne learned they were the descendants of the original Brothers Grimm, and those men were historians.  Now, all the fairy tale characters live inFerryport Landing,New York, and it is the Grimm family job to keep them all in line.  As the series has progressed, things have gotten worse as The Scarlett Hand, under the leadership of The Master, has tried to break the magical barrier that keeps them all in town.

Now, if that last paragraph is news to you, then do not read this book – at least not yet.  This is a climatic book in a series, and the story won’t make much sense to you if you don’t have the necessary background of characters and plot points.  But once you’ve read the previous eight books, you’ll be ready to enjoy this one.

Things are looking, well, Grimm, for Sabrina and Daphne.  The Master and the rest of The Scarlet Hand have taken over Ferryport Landing and are running wild.  Furthermore, The Master has taken over their grandmother and is trying to use her body to escape the barrier and take over the world.

There is only a small remnant of left to fight, and Sabrina doesn’t see how they can possibly win.  When consulting the magic mirrors, they receive a prophecy – only Sabrina and Daphne can possibly defeat The Master.  Anyone else will be defeated.  Are they doomed, or do the Sisters Grimm have what it takes to win once and for all?

Sabrina and Daphne have grown as characters over the course of the series, Sabrina especially.  This culminates here.  I never felt like I wanted to slap some sense into Sabrina, which happened a few times in the early books.  In fact, I felt for her as she tried to take on the leadership role thrust on her.  Some of the other characters in the series have grown as well, and it’s great to see all that displayed here.

The story is entertaining from start to finish as well.  There are really no wasted pages, so the plot is always advancing forward.  While the climax feels a bit easy, it also works thematically with the book and series, so it really only bothered me a little.  I think part of that were my expectations going into the book, and the author has no obligation to follow them at all.

I will say this, the book is a bit darker than the earlier books, which were never exactly light.  This is war, so a few characters do die.  Frankly, dealing with it makes the characters richer.

I am glad I discovered this alternate take on fairy tales.  The Council of Mirrors does a great job of tying things up, and I think any fan of the series will be satisfied when they finish it.

Not a fan of the series?  Then go back and read the Sisters Grimm Series in order.

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