City of Blood is the final book in the Godstone Saga. As the books tell one long story, this book and review will have some spoilers from earlier books (including a big revelation that comes at the end of Embrace the Light).
Caelan Talos is a god. Forced into this role against his will from the beginning, Caelan must now deal with a new reality. He is no longer human and yet he is still Caelan, still King, and still the one destined to save all of Thia. And despite his betrayal by the gods, Caelan must still work with them to stop the Goddess of the Hunt. For his friends, Adrian, Rayne, Eno, and Drayce, nothing has changed. They remain as devoted to Caelan as ever, even as their relationships become nuanced and intense.
Yet with more to live for than ever, Caelan is terrified that either his lover or his friends will be killed. And after all they have sacrificed so far, the idea of losing one of them is almost more than he can bear. But each man will have a role to play and only by remaining a steadfast and united team can they stop the Goddess and the army she has assembled. Everything Caelan and his friends have fought and bled for has come to this and only by risking everything can they hope to succeed.
City of Blood is the last in the Godstone Saga and these books must be read in order. The overall plot and world building is too complex to tackle as a standalone read. This book is the culmination of a long journey for our protagonists and one that threatens to destroy them as much as free them. But for all that, I found the final showdowns (because there are more than one) to be rather anti-climatic.
I’m not sure why, but after all the build up over the last few books, I expected more impact from the series’ resolution. I felt like the resolution was there, but City of Blood basically limped to the finish line. Aside from Rayne’s epic, though strangely out of place, face off with the Emperor, other events played out with an almost predictable ordinariness. While I definitely wanted HEAs for the main couples, I wanted the threats against them to have more weight. And that just didn’t happen. As a result, while City of Blood was far from boring, it read as though someone was letting the air out of the tires just as the car hit the finish line.
The relationships between Drayce and Caelan and Eno and Rayne resolve both as readers might expect and want. Again, there’s nothing earth shattering here, but there is certainly a just reward for all they have endured. For Adrian, things are less clear ,but apparently the author has a planned a trilogy of books dedicated to him and several other secondary characters that should offer some resolution.
I didn’t dislike City of Blood, but I did want more from it. The last five books offered the tremendous promise of a massive final reckoning and I felt as though the series ended with a whimper rather than a bang. I just wanted a bit more grit and heft to the ending. That said, I’ve enjoyed the series as a whole and I’m looking forward to the planned trilogy. While City of Blood wasn’t my favorite, the entire series has been enjoyable and engaging.