The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso (Swords and Fire #3)
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: I’m at this cabin with 11 of my closest friends and we just had LANDMINES Friday… which is a Whole. Thing. Basically I’ve had like 12 seltzers
The final volume of the Gemmell Morningstar Award-shortlisted Swords and Fire fantasy trilogy, in which political scion Amalia and her bound fire warlock Zaira must save the Empire from a ruthless, magical enemy. Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce, The Queen of the Tearling, and Uprooted.
While winter snows keep the Witch Lord Ruven’s invading armies at bay, Lady Amalia Cornaro and the fire warlock Zaira attempt to change the fate of mages in the Raverran Empire forever, earning the enmity of those in power who will do anything to keep all magic under tight imperial control. But in the season of the Serene City’s great masquerade, Ruven executes a devastating surprise strike at the heart of the Empire – and at everything Amalia holds most dear.
To stand a chance of defeating Ruven, Amalia and Zaira must face their worst nightmares, expose their deepest secrets, and unleash Zaira’s most devastating fire.
Drunk Overview: so this is the third and final book in this series, so if you don’t want to be spoiled front the first two books, highly recommend you gtfo. But you know… you do you boo boo
So at this point, Amalia has freaked out the weird kingdom and made an enemy of Ruven which isn’t super great cause his magic is v scary. She’s got a vision about what she wants for the folks with magic in her country. She wants to free them (which seems like… you know… a basic right) but she’s gotta get it through the council. So that’s a start. But then she’s got a surprise from her nemesis and alllll that other stuff. So… Save the magic users? Defeat the scary magic guy? Pick a man-friend? All while continuing to gain the support and knowledge she needs as her mother’s heir? easy peasy
Spoiler-free Thoughts: i cannot begin to tell you how much i love this series. I am so happy we have two more books in this world in a new series. It’s just… a MC who isn’t the “chosen one” and has supportive parents? Come on. What’s not to like?
Characters: Ok I’m gonna try to get this right. Amalia is awesome. She’s vulnerable but also wicked smart and is just ugh i wish that i could say more than awesome right now but i am HAMMERED. Then there’s Kathe , who is just the coolest haha. Like, he has all the swagger and i love it. The dynamic between him and Amalia is amazing and the chemistry is the Best. Then there’s the other bae, the guard. He’s fine, i guess. I like the healthy communication between them. Speaking of healthy relationships OMG the mom. She’s just fab. She truly cares about her daughter and is just the best. Ruven is an ok villain but i can’t really remember why he’s a villain? Eh. Whatever he’s still scary. And i saved the best for last. Zaria. She’s one of the most foul mouthed, bad ass, loving, and beautiful characters I’ve ever read and I just really like the journey that she goes through over 3 books.
Plot: so there are kind of two plots here. There’s the political one and the war one. There are many. Twist and turns and all are unpredictable. I was mid-slump and i basically inhaled this.
World Building: not much extra here.
What to pair it with: this is like a good dessert wine like port. Love it.
Rating: 4.5/5 shots
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,