For the final book in the series I debated between 3 and 4 stars. But as it is my usual preference, I went lower rather than higher. I am not generous with my stars. For a book to reach 4 stars, I must like it not just ok but well.
I have said in all my reviews of the series, I am exceedingly impressed with Bec McMaster's imagination and how she blended historical sterotypes and locations with this fantasy world. It was very well done and I really enjoyed reading about this alternative London. Splendid, indeed.
My less than enthusiastic ratings for the 3rd book and this last installment of the series have everything to do with my preference of romance stories. My problem always lies with the heroine. I like Leo a lot and I even like Mina for him. I think she must be written the way she is to be a match for Leo. Bec McMaster did not falter here. She was right in maknig Mina who she is: the lonely ice princess who holds her ground.
It was however hard for me to really like her. It is personal and by no means a poor reflection on Mina as a character. She is involved in politics and must scheme and play the game to survive. I am not much for that. I respect her but I do not like her.
The story is split between political intricacies and romance. While I find McMaster's prose enjoyable and enjoy reading about what was driving the story forward, it became too much of a war between the prince consort and his opponents. A evil blueblood (prince consort) who ruled with cruelty versus everyone else, good bluebloods, human, mechs, werewolves. I am a romantic at heart. Leo and Mina's love story became secondary and a by-product of the events.
My favorite of the series has to be Will and Helena's love story, which is the second book. Then the first book, Blade and Honoria's story is a rather distant second. I skipped Perry and Garret's story which is the 4th in the series. This book would be my 3rd with Lynch and Rosalind the 4th, basically my least favorite.
The ranking depends hugely on my preference of characterization and has nothing to do with the writing quality or plots. I applaud Bec McMaster for creating such a fantastic alternative world and would look forward to reading more from her.