[Lastland: War of Princes IV] A.R. Ivanovich

28227333Riding out the consequences of the events in Monarch prove to be a trial for Katelyn and company. Prince Varion is coming into his own power and trying to amend for his mistakes while the war continues to rage across Lastland. He begins to put in motion plans to end the war, plans that are so extensive that even Katelyn has little idea of how much he wants to change. Finally,  Katelyn’s worst fears have been confirmed in Lastland: the war that has ravaged the outside world has finally reached Haven. Prince Raserion has brought shadows to her family and friends in Haven, a place that used to be green and safe. Fearing that time is not on their side, Katelyn has to return from Lastland to the original portal before she loses everything she loves.

While I was reading Lastland I came to the realization that I was done with the story before the story had even ended, which was incredibly unfortunate. I felt like I was reading regurgitated lines; a lot of the information about Dragoons and Hussars and their ruling parties were repeated. I already know the roles they play in the novel. I don’t need to be told for the third time (because this happened in Paperglass and Monarch too) of who Prince Raserion is or how bad the Margraves are. I know this because I’ve been reading the series from the beginning. It bogs down the narration and read a little sloppily to me; instead of giving me new information for the setting or the war, I was treated like I would have forgotten who these major players were in the interim between Monarch and Lastland, as well as the other novels.

This feeling was compounded by the special qualities of Katelyn. I hadn’t particularly liked or disliked her at the beginning of the series. She was a character who was interesting enough to follow along on her call to adventure throughout Lastland and briefly through Haven. At the conclusion of Lastland and the overall series, however, I’d kind of had it with her. When a character has a special ability, there needs to be some sort of limit to their abilities. There needs to be repercussions for using it too much, or not knowing how to use it. I understand the drive to write a happy ending where everything has worked out for the character, but unfortunately, that’s not relatable. Even though we are in a fantasy setting, we can’t be in a fantasy world where everything works out, particularly when a large part of the setting is during wartime. The things that were bad for her were handled very briefly and didn’t have an emotional and visible-to-the-reader impact.

Unfortunately, in an effort to have everything in the world be fixed in a happy ending sort of way, it gave a forced quality to the ending of the novel and series. The final events were heavy on the exposition side of things and I didn’t feel as though it did the entire series justice. This remains a good series that is a quick read with an interesting world and decent story line. For me, I won’t be picking it up again, but I do recommend it for the reader who likes a world of adventure, magic, and tales of coming into your powers.

3.5 stars.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Lastland came out earlier this month on January 5th.


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