Endsinger (The Lotus War Book 3)
by: Jay Kristoff
412 pages [Hardcover]
The lotus war comes to a climax as forces human, machine, feathered, and underworldly collide with devastating consequences, all with Shima’s fate hanging precariously in the balance.
The Lotus War is at an end now that I’ve finally finished Endsinger. This book sat on my shelf for far too long. There are things I love about this series and some things that made me a little reluctant to read it. Let’s start with the good things.
The worldbuilding was great with airships, chainsaw katana, griffons, lightning farms, the destructive blood lotus, a creation myth, demons…I could go on for a while. The plot was interesting, involving twists and turns I didn’t expect and the Lotus Guild’s true motives were quite sinister indeed. It’s written well, the characters are realistic with a dash of bravado and dark humor, and I loved Yukiko’s relationship with Buruu. All things Japanese and Steampunk were awesome.
So if this story was so awesome, why did I always have a tendency to put off picking up the book, only to put it down again not long after? It comes down to one simple thing: loss. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I was about halfway through Endsinger. I was so distracted by the worldbuilding and action that it didn’t occur to me just how much these characters lose. I understand that when you’re in the middle of a bloody revolution that there is going to be some loss, but each character in this story loses so much. Some characters had already lost several people in their lives before the fighting even began. I think this series had the highest body count of everything I’ve read so far. The heaviness that all that loss created made me hesitate to read where I should have been completely absorbed.
Don’t get me wrong, the whole series wasn’t horribly depressing. There were lots of wonderfully positive moments mixed in that had me smiling or cheering on the inside, but it wasn’t enough to completely balance it.
As for Endsinger, the loss really piles up. Not only do we lose characters, but we are constantly reminded of it. Remarkably, though, the ending is rather hopeful, and no one left is truly abandoned. That last page made me very happy. With all of this, I have mixed feelings about the series. If you asked me, I’d say I loved it, I just didn’t always want to read it. Until next time…