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3. The Keeper Origins Complete Trilogy by J.A. Andrews



So book club isn't really a thing anymore, but I'm going to keep going with reviews because they're fun to write. I'll also keep them in the 'Book Club' category. If you'd like to chat about the books with me, I'm always excited to share thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment or message me directly.


So I started this read January 13th and only recently finished. I'm a slow reader now that I've been focusing on other things. This was the complete trilogy set to include:

  1. Dragon's Reach

  2. Raven's Ruin

  3. Phoenix Rising


My review is going to be an overview of the series since I read them all in one.


1. Your star rating (1-5)

5


2. Would you recommend?

Yes


3. Favorite part?

Those moments when Sable was herself and how wonderful she was as she weaved her Sable magic, gaining more influence, just by being herself.


4. Least favorite part? Why?

In the third book, the big face-off scene. I'll admit, I got a little confused on the action that happened, but this was also a moment I was waiting for in terms of Sable reacting to the danger that her sisters were in (this will be expanded on a little later in this review). Sadly, it all felt lacking to me. This was the big showdown finally between Sable and the Dragon Prioress (Vivaine) and the ramp up of the scene was missing the mark with me because of how it all unfolded with the sisters.


5. Would you read again? Why?

No, and only because I finished the series and it was long. I'd love to have paperback copies though to add to my book shelf. Those are pretty covers.


6. Main Female Character(s) Rating (1-5)

4


7. Why?

I adore Sable. She was amazing and the growth over three books was absolutely amazing. I love her struggle against being what everyone wants her to be and the reality of who she really is. There were frustrating moments where she was a little more idle then I would have liked or her reaction wasn't as strong as I would have thought it should have been, but this book was full of a lot for her to deal with and I enjoyed her decisions and the paths that she took.


8. Main Male Character(s) Rating (1-5)

4


9. Why?

Reese is the male character that many readers want. He was completely attentive and in love with Sable. He was sweet. Sassy. Hilarious. And very dedicated to Sable. I loved it! He's that rough teddy bear that we all love and want to hug. I loved how he warmed up to people, especially the fun relationship he formed with Purn the kobold. His romance with Sable was slow and subtle, but believable, and once they dove into the romance together, adorable and sweet. He was definitely a top five favorite character in the series. (There were A LOT of characters)


10. Favorite minor character? (Minor characters deserve love tooooo)

Oh boy. There were a ton of characters in this book, between everyone in the troupe, the city, on the island, the elves, and dwarves, and everything in between.


Top Five, not including main male character:

Purnicous the kobold

Innov the phoenix (am I allowed to choose the phoenix?)

Thulan the female dwarf (LOVED THIS!)

Flibbet - I just want to hug that man and follow him around with that darn cart

Serene - she was powerful and dangerous and I loved her for it


Overall Thoughts:


I loved this series a lot. The depth of all the major players, the thought process, decisions, journey. There were so many layers weaved together that I was immersed and brought for a ride. I love fantasy books that leave me feeling desperate and anxious through all the dangerous situations. That desperation stayed with me until the showdown at the end of the series. I kept wondering how Sable and her group were going to turn it all around. It was wonderfully crafted and I highly recommend reading for those who love intricate plots and massive character growth.


My biggest gripe is the sisters. Frankly, there probably would have been a way to pull this off without them. I just felt like it lacked. There's a quote used in the story, "It was always about her sisters. Yes, by the end, the entire world was at stake, but even then, it was still about her sisters."


I didn't feel that at all in this story.


I don't know if it's because there was just so much going on that many characters and plots got sidelined or what, but this whole concept was missed for me and I do have siblings so it isn't like it's something I just can't connect with. First off, at the big showdown at the end, she thought her sisters were dead. So it definitely wasn't about them. And at this showdown, that moment when she saw them alive, but still in danger, that was the moment she should have redeemed herself and made it about them.


She didn't.


Instead, it fell to Kiva. It was Kiva's big redemption as he sacrifices himself. And that kind of sacrifice didn't work for me either because it seemed there was a way to do that without him dying. Also...he died from his own snake. Talk about karma after the trouble he caused throughout the series. He got his 'redemption' but I felt like this was finally the moment for Sable to truly make everything about her sisters...and it was stolen from her.


Other than that, it was easy to forget her sisters even existed. There was so much other stuff going on, other motivations and plans and history weaved together that we didn't need the sisters. Especially because of who her mother was. Outside of the beginning of the series, they were an existence that never felt important to me. All too often, they were in the hands of the enemies and I just never saw the major concern from Sable for them. Frankly, they were well off too, being well taken care of and even making the 'enemy' like them. (Back to Kiva sacrificing himself.) Sable would fight against all these people, and for good reason, then there are the sisters saying those people aren't that bad. I hated that. I wanted to shake her sisters.


I know what the author was trying to do, but it just fell flat for me.


Even without the sisters, this was an amazing story with so many diverse and intricate characters--all of them with their own motivations and plans. It was exciting to learn more about the different characters and seeing the different layers to them. Did some characters get forgotten and put to the side? For sure and that can be expected in a story with such a large cast of people. This was a grand war with a ton of people involved. I thought J.A. Andrews did great in creating real people we wanted to invest our time reading about in such a massive world of characters.

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