“For a moment I stare up at what I’ve done. I killed them. Executed them. It takes a while to notice I’m trembling, breathing hard. But not from exertion. Not from guilt.
From the rush of power. And the uncomfortable realisation that I enjoyed it!”
Yes, it has been a long time since I read this book and I am only just writing my review. I allowed one Bex Anne Elizabeth Marie Hogan (* other middle names may be available) to break my heart into tiny pieces, and then I went right back in and let her do it all over again. I have been mourning and unable to form coherent thoughts. I don’t know that I’m able to do that now, but I’m going to try.
Vulture is the third, and final, book in the Isles of Storm and Sorrow trilogy. I’m going to try to keep this review spoiler free for Vulture, but it won’t be free of spoilers from the previous two books, so consider yourselves warned.
Venom ended with Marianne laying dying at the hands of Bronn, which was absolutely not okay. Clearly she isn’t dead because she’s starring in another book and it says right there in the blurb. She and Bronn are having some real issues with the whole stabbing her to death thing, which seems reasonable; I was furious with him and he didn’t even breathe near me. Both are so angry and hurt. Marianne knows she asked a lot of Bronn, but she still resents him for actually killing her, and he resents her for making him. Our Bronn is very good at sticking his head in the sand and being uncommunicative (and at times incredibly hurtful) and it took me a long time to stop wanting to throttle him every time he appeared.
Marianne is going through a lot. There’s the recovering from death thing but also her magic. Coming back from death has changed her, and her magic is different and darker. She’s starting to feel like she is losing herself to it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved vengeful Marianne stomping around the isles finishing off those who wronged her (coin guy was a personal favourite), but she’s definitely not herself. She’s losing her way when everyone is looking to her for guidance and leadership, and it’s quite unsettling. Watching Marianne fight her way through those whilst pulling herself together was one of the things I loved most about this book; her strength is phenomenal.
There is so much more to love about this book. We see Raoul again; he’s a great character and he really brings a lot to this story. I adored Harley for the choices she makes, her unwavering loyalty and just the person she is. So many times she made me laugh (of course the aforementioned author then made me almost immediately cry to balance it out). Talon is back – who doesn’t love Talon. Gaius is also back, but he’s still a bastard and the least said about him the better. He infuriated me more than Bronn, which I didn’t think was possible. Sharpe and Torin are couple goals. I love how quietly affectionate and utterly in love they are; the don’t have the fiery drama that Marianne and Bronn have, but I ship them and I want only happy things for their future together. Torin really grows in this book: the scenes with his father and Marianne gave me life.
Vulture has some truly horrific moments. There are moments I gasped, put the book down, and even cried. I also spent most of the time messaging Bex my fury and feelings. There are brilliant twists, lots of magic, and one of the biggest betrayals I think I’ve ever read.
In short, Bex is a brilliant writer, Vulture is fantastic, and if you’ve not jumped aboard the Viper yet you should do that immediately.