Name of the Book: Prophecy of the Sisters: Guardian of the Gate/Circle of Fire
By: Michelle Zink
Published by: Little, Brown
Number of Pages: 352/368
Reason for Reading: to continue the series
Lia is in a race against time to find the missing pages and the remaining keys before the Souls and her sister, Alice can thwart her. The final books see Lia on multiple perilous journeys, acute betrayal, and burgeoning new love. Will she be able to persuade Alice to join her against the Souls, or will Alice, in her growing power, prevail?
The remaining books do not disappoint. The Victorian atmosphere of the first book captured my imagination. Zink is adept at crafting the time and space she has set her story in. Lia’s peril is very real and terrifying. While as a reader, I know she has to somehow make it through, it didn’t keep me from biting my fingers, experiencing acute anxiety and mad heart beating. The major confrontations with Samael’s Guard, the continuing attacks from the Souls during sleep, and the race to Avebury for the final rite are especially nerve-wracking. This series is certainly not lacking in adventure and action.
I well appreciated the way Zink layered the relationships. We see that Alice isn’t just a power-hungry villain, nor is Lia always angelic and perfect. They are both flawed human beings with vulnerabilities. It is evident that despite being on opposing sides, they still care for each other. Their relationship is complicated. Lia may want to defeat her sister to save the world, but it’s difficult and heartbreaking. The bonds of twinship cannot be cast off so easily.
I also appreciated that Zink maintained the integrity of the romance between Lia and Dimitri. She could have easily veered into love triangle territory. Thankfully she didn’t. Rather she, again, went for the layered, nuanced interpretation. Zink artfully portrayed the complicated feelings that arise when one moves on from a previous relationship and falls in love again. I am so glad that the story stayed away from that particular development. It would have cheapened the story.
Overall, the trilogy was fully satisfying. It neither moved too quickly or too slowly. Three books was the perfect pacing for this story. And as good books are wont to do, it left me wanting more.
An ethereal, moving paranormal YA trilogy with nuanced relationship portrayals, romantic and familial, that veers from the well-beaten love triangle path.