Book Reviews

[review] Circle of Fire – Michelle Zink

With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help–or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister–and maybe still does. James doesn’t know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way. 

There are some secrets sisters aren’t meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink’s Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.

Discovery: I first read Prophecy of the Sisters, the first book in this trilogy, a few months ago. Despite the creepy twin statues on the cover–Doctor Who has ruined me for life–I sped through the novel and bawled for ten minutes straight at the end. I’m glad I discovered these books only a few months away from the conclusion.

+     Themes. I may have cried buckets over Prophecy of the Sisters and shed some tears over the ending to this one, but I’m grateful that Michelle Zink had the courage to be true to the story. These books took a bond touted as unbreakable–that of sisters–and illustrated just how easy it is to warp love. Fate and destiny come to blows with the indomitable human spirit. Lia is a strong girl, but even she must find the strength to do the right thing, especially when faced with a sister for an enemy.  That struggle can be found in countless stories and events throughout history, and Michelle Zink did a commendable job of writing it into this series.

+     Mythology. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had an unwavering fascination with mythology. As crazy as it may sound, the legends surrounding Satan and the fallen angels have always held appeal to me. This series fed my interest and I’m quite satisfied with the result. Lia’s dreams scared me more than Samael–who wouldn’t be terrified if they were controlled by a dream? I loved the way Altus and its people were portrayed and I appreciated the flaws they displayed. Myths come from a place in the human heart that yearns for truth and creativity at the same time, and the results are beautifully broken tales which reflect their creators. It’s in the interpretation that they become more than what they are cast as, something we would all do well to remember.

+     Characters. I’ll admit it: Dimitri stole my heart. I have a well-documented weakness for male characters who are devoted and true to the right cause and he just pushed all my buttons repeatedly. Not to mention, he’s really really hot. (I’ll try to keep that fangirling to a minimum.) But while I adored Dimitri, my heart aches for James. I do think that he got the short end of the stick and part of me has issues with how his story was resolved because it just seemed too abrupt. He did nothing wrong, and deserved far more than what Lia and Alice gave him.

The focus of the story is on the Milthorpe sisters, of course, and Lia and Alice are both luminous in this final installment. Lia embodies the depths of weakness that the human spirit can sink too just as strongly as she does our strengths. I loved that she didn’t pretend to be more than what she was: a young girl caught in the middle of something she doesn’t really understand either. Alice’s decisions seem strange at times, but I do believe that the ending is satisfying, albeit heartbreaking. I admire both sisters and their hearts.

–      Pacing. If I’d had time to write reviews for Prophecy and Guardian of the Gate, I would have already mentioned this. The novels are very well-written, but there are a few chapters in each book where the action seems to slow to a crawl. I personally attribute this to the author helping the reader to step into Lia’s shoes as she seeks to end the prophecy. Nevertheless, it does make reading a little difficult when one’s attention isn’t fully focused.

Recommendations: I would definitely recommend this to any YA reader, and adults as well. The Prophecy series is a fantastic and delicate journey into the human heart and its capacity for love.

Rating: Excellent.

Go check out Michelle Zink’s website and follow her on Twitter @michellezink.

I was lucky enough to score an interview with Michelle, along with a giveaway of Circle of Fire! The giveaway is until August 21, so you have plenty of time to enter.

Next review: Supernaturally, Kiersten White


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