The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso (Swords and Fire #3)
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: ARGENTINA WON THE WORLD CUP TODAY!!! For those of you who don’t know, my family in my dad’s side is Argentine. This is the first time they’ve won since I’ve been alive! So naturally I drank Argentine beer (Quilmes) and drank up a storm through one of the toughest games of football I’ve ever watched. And then I had shots and drank more hahaha
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 last book in this series so if you haven’t read the others, be warned of spoilers.
So Amalia and Zaira are tryna get some rights for the magic users in the country after they became accidentally bound in book one. Really close to the beginning of the book, the Big Bad, Ruven, basically commits an act of terror against the magic users at the same time killing the emperor ? I think it’s an emperor. So for all intents and purposes, Amalia and Zaira have to save the world from a maniac. Again.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: as you might be able to tell, I’m a on a journey to finish up my open series. And this one I’ve been putting off cause I did not want it to end. I loved this. Truly. There were twists I wasn’t expecting. It had been a long time since I’d just sat down and read a book and didn’t pick up my phone and just read it. Very happy about jt.
Characters: so there’s Amalia, who I adore. What I loved most is her mind. She’s not a fighter, she’s smart. And she uses that and I love it. I particularly love her relationships. She said goodbye to the bae in book 2, for real and realistic reasons. They were good ones, and their remaining friendship is amazing. Then there’s the crow bae. HE is a literary bf for sure. He’s so hot in my mind and their chemistry is amazing. And I particularly like that they don’t do the “oh em gee I’ll die for you” nonsense . Then Zaira is also amazing and hilarious and that does NOT change in this.
Plot: again, I truly love the way this goes. It ends as if the world was gonna end. And it doesn’t get wrapped in a pretty bow but pretty close. Twists and turns were fab. I just loved it.
Writing Style: nothin to say here
World Building: nothing really new here, which is fair for a finale. The POLITICAL world building though.. *chef’s kiss*
What to pair it with: port. A sweet sweet end to a seeet sweet meal.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,