Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great character growth; strong story
Cons: Plot almost slows down at one point
The Bottom Line:
The final chapter
Great climax for trilogy
Reads as fast as wind
Battle of the Winds
Two years. I’ve been waiting two years for Let the Wind Rise to come out since that’s when book two in this trilogy was released. And did I mention that book two ended on a cliffhanger? But all is fine now since this book does a wonderful job of wrapping up the trilogy.
I am going to issue my standard warning at this point. This isn’t the place to jump into the series. I mean, its book three of a trilogy, so there will be lots that happens here that you won’t understand. In fact, if you have the time, reread the first two books or at least book two before starting this book. I wish I’d had the time to do that since there are references to things I don’t quite remember from the earlier books.
What you should know is that this trilogy is a YA fantasy series. Our main characters are Audra and Vane who are actually not human but a race that can control the wind. They live in a world parallel to ours but hidden from human consciousness, and their world is in a civil war. It’s been building for a while, but everything is coming to a head, and the conflict is swirling around Audra and Vane.
I did remember the cliffhanger from the previous book, and this book picks up right where that book ended. Audra has been captured by Raiden, the man trying to take over the winds for his own selfish ends. To do that, he wants the power of the fourth wind, the Westerly. Audra has broken her bond with Vane in order to keep that language safe.
Meanwhile, Vane, the last surviving Westerly, is teaming up with the least likely allies, not all of whom he can trust, to try to slip into Raiden’s fortress to rescue Audra. Unfortunately, his heritage as a Westerly makes it impossible for him to fight. As things build toward a showdown with Raiden, Vane knows he will be involved in the final battle. Will he be able to overcome his aversion to violence to defeat Raiden?
I already mentioned there were a few things that I didn’t remember from previous books, but it truly didn’t take me long to be back in the world of these characters. Author Shannon Messenger is wonderful at creating fantastic worlds to get lost in, and this is another great example. I love to visit them.
The threat of war is ever constant. I did feel the book started to lag a bit near the middle, but just as I was thinking that, things kicked off again, and we were building toward the climax. And yes, it does a fantastic job of wrapping up the series as a whole. The ending? It’s absolutely brilliant.
And since the series is wrapping up, we also got some great character development. I wasn’t surprised to see Vane and Audra continue to grow here, but I was surprised as some of the other characters who really grew before the book ended. I loved what happened with those characters, too. I may have shed a tear or two, but I’m not admitting anything.
Yes, there is still some romantic angst in this book as well. Could we truly have a YA book if we didn’t? It’s there, but it never overwhelms the story. In fact, at times it proves a nice break in the heaviness of the rest of the book.
Like the others in the series, the book is told in alternating first person chapters. This allows us to get the story from both Vane and Audra’s points of view. It’s not a common choice, but it’s easy to keep the point of view straight, especially since the two don’t spend much of the book together.
If, like me, you’ve been waiting to find out what happened next to Vane and Audra, you’ll be thrilled with Let the Wind Rise. And if you haven’t start the trilogy yet, what are you waiting for?