Friday, March 21, 2014

Starling by Fiona Paul

Starling by Fiona Paul
Release Date - March 20, 2014
Publisher Website - Penguin
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**borrowed from fellow blogger**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The dark, seductive conclusion to the thrilling Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy!

In the final book in the trilogy, Cass and Luca are back in Venice trying to find the Book of the Eternal Rose to clear Luca's name and keep them both out of prison. But the hunters become the hunted when the Order of the Eternal Rose figures out their plan. Filled with twists and turns, danger and torrid romances, this novel brings the Secrets of the Eternal Rose novels to a thrilling, heart-pounding, sexy conclusion.
Perfect endings to book series are had to come by. They almost don't exist, but if they did Starling would come close. Romance, mystery, and closure are all woven together to create a delicious, and enticingly readable end to what is a well written, and well plotted series.

The level of research into the historical aspects of these novels has always impressed me. The care given to ensure accuracy really comes through in the writing. In a novel filled with mystery elements it would be easy to overlook this aspect but the attention to detail adds another layer to the story. It allowed me to immerse myself into the story fully, instead of being ripped out of it.

Cassandra's character growth when looked at during the coarse of the entire series is wonderful. Her progression from the first book, to the end of the third is almost staggering. Each change is a direct reaction to something that happened, someone in her life, or choices she had made. As a reader, see the consequences of things, and how they impact a character is important, and this might be the element that shines the brightest in this series.

The triangle in this series has never bothered me the way most triangles do, and I fully understand why after reading this installment. The choice was entirely about Cass. Cass and what she needed. Cass and who she had become. She has chosen the suitor who compliments what she wants out of her life, and the one to best help her continue to grow and become WHO she wants to be. No matter what 'team' you happen to be on, I predict many will be unable to find fault in Cassandra's (and therefore the author's) decision. The closure that is given, and the care given to all the characters make it so that it's fitting, and earned.

The ending of Cassandra's story unravels as it should. Fiona Paul takes her time with the story, allowing it and her characters to breath. She is sure to wrap up the plot points from beginning to end, and allow us closure for all the major players. It's satisfying in it's execution, and ties the three novels together entirely.

Saying goodbye to these characters, and the series, was much harder than I anticipated it being. It's a testament to the characterization that I will miss even the secondary characters we've met along the way. Kind magicians, surprising courtesans, and everyone in between. The last few pages left me teary eyed because they perfectly closed Cassandra's journey...this part of it at least.

A novel that is filled with thrills, chills, romance, and one heck of a heroine at it's core. Starling offers up a fitting, perfectly paced ending to a series that easily charmed me.

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