Early Review: The Descent (The Taker Trilogy #3) by Alma Katsu

January 6, 2014 Review 0

Early Review: The Descent (The Taker Trilogy #3) by Alma KatsuThe Descent by Alma Katsu
Series: The Taker Trilogy #3
Published by Gallery Books on January 7, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Excerpt: Excerpt
Sexual Content: Allusions to sex, rape.
Reviewed by: Julia
3 Stars

The final installment in the “mesmerizing” (Booklist, starred review) and addictive trilogy—find out who truly holds the key to Lanny’s heart and whether she’ll ever be reunited with her beloved in this gripping supernatural tale of magic, lust, and longing.

Lanore McIlvrae has been on the run from Adair for hundreds of years, dismayed by his mysterious powers and afraid of his temper. She betrayed Adair’s trust and imprisoned him behind a stone wall to save Jonathan, the love of her life. When Adair was freed 200 years later, she was sure that he would find her and make her existence a living hell. But things turned out far different than she’d imagined.

Four years later, Lanore has tracked Adair to his mystical island home, where he has been living in self-imposed exile, to ask for a favor. She wants Adair to send her to the hereafter so she may beg the Queen of the Underworld to release Jonathan, whom she has been keeping as her consort. Will Lanore honor her promise to Adair to return? Or is her intention to reunite with Jonathan at any cost?

Of all the forces of the universe, the most mysterious, confounding, and humbling is the power of love. The epic story of love and loss, magic and destiny that began with The Taker and sparked a chase around the world in The Reckoning comes to a surprising conclusion with The Descent.

THE DESCENT is the  is the final capstone on a series that explores humanity, immortality, morality, and the nature of love.  Not for readers in search of a happily-ever-after, the entire Taker Trilogy is a wolf in urban fantasy clothing, teasing readers with an epic romance only to explore the depraved depths and banal heights which humanity achieves.

Despite the misleading, bubble-gum, almost YA cover on THE DESCENT, I lost any illusions I had about this series somewhere in THE RECKONING.  At the close of THE TAKER, I imagined Luke and Lanny riding off into the sunset.  THE RECKONING showed the futility of outrunning the centuries of baggage Lanny trails behind her.  As Luke fades into more and more of a cypher, it is clear that Lanny only feels alive when in the presence of other immortals... monstrous though they may be.  THE DESCENT proves this hypothesis, but in a wholly unexpected way.  Though I never emotionally forgave Adair for his atrocities in THE RECKONING, both he and Lanny seem almost brainwashed as they embark on the final chapter of their story clearly in pursuit of a human existence unlike anything they've achieved before.  And as surprise after surprise unfolds, explaining the inhuman strength of Adair's passions, it is also clear where the prize for immortal lies... in the banal, everyday, human marriage that Lanny acts out with Luke.

THE DESCENT reminds me more of Paradise Lost or The Wolf of Wall Street than your typical urban fantasy.  Less a romance or a fantastical escape, it takes readers inside the mind of depraved and twisted characters and reveals their insecurities and longings, though without any attempt to gloss over their more selfish and monstrous side.  THE DESCENT explores the inhumane urges of power and the seemingly seductive lure of normalcy, forcing readers to confront the consequences of their own fascinations and desires.  While I never emotionally reconnected with these characters, I know I'll be puzzling over their fate for years to come.

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