Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink
publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
release date: August 1st, 2011
hardcover, 352 pages
intended audience: Young adult
Other books in the series:
Prophecy of the Sisters (review)
Guardian of the Gate (review)
source: received from publisher for honest review
Warning! Description and review may contain slight spoilers for the previous books in the series. If you haven't read those, stop here!)
description: With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help--or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister--and maybe still does. James doesn't know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way.
There are some secrets sisters aren't meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.
Review: There are hardly words for how I feel about this one! I have loved this series from the beginning--- I was immediately drawn into the lush Victorian setting, the harsh dilemma of two twin sisters pitted on opposite sites of the fate of the world, all the amazing twists and turns that the story took. It was breathtaking. I literally put off reading this one a few times because I just didn't want it all to end, but the ending just blew me away. I'm looking forward to reading this whole series again.
One of the really unique things about this series is that while the common theme runs throughout and the main characters are all consistently compelling, each book was it's own adventure and each one had such a different feel from the others. With Circle of Fire, the first parts of the book have sort of a quiet feel, while Lia & company are doing what they can to locate the last pieces that they need to complete the prophecy . On top of that, she has this internal battle going on about who she can trust among her friends and also begins really feeling the loss of her sister. There is also a tension there when her sister announces her engagement to Lia's ex, James---who, of course, has been completely kept in the dark about the prophecy. You can feel Lia's emotions, all her self-doubt and confusion, her sadness as she starts to say goodbye because the possibility that she could fail becomes more and more real. The whole story moves along with a kind of underlying hum of urgency and intensity as the time before the gate must be closed runs out.
One of my favorite things is that among all this seriousness, there is Dimitri. He is solid and dependable, protective, and completely devoted to Lia and helping her in any way he can. He is right there with support, both emotionally and physically. Best of all, his easy sense of humor was exactly what the story and Lia's character needed to keep things from getting too tense and feeling completely hopeless.
The ending is explosive! It could just be me (I can't say I try too hard to guess endings of books as I'm reading---I like to let things unfold themselves), but the turn of events completely took me by surprise, left me gasping in shock and wiping away tears. I don't think I ever could have imagined a more gratifying conclusion to this wonderful series. I'll definitely be counting the days to the release of Michelle Zinks's next series, Temptation of Angels, in 2012!
Visit Michelle Zink's site here.
Purchase Prophecy of the Sisters at: Amazon • BN.com • BookDesository • Indiebound