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Monday, October 3, 2011

Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink

Release: August 1, 2011

Others in the Series: Prophecy of the Sisters and Guardian of the Gate

Source: Purchased
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.
Having fallen in love with Guardian of the Gate two summers ago, I was incredibly excited to end this last summer with Circle of Fire.

Sadly, I had a great deal of trouble getting back into Lia’s world. I read Prophecy of the Sisters so long ago that the basic details have become quite murky. Compound this with all the development in Guardian of the Gate, the specifics of which I only vaguely remember, and you have one very lost Jessica.  For the first few chapters, I felt like that kid in math class who doesn’t quite get what’s going on, but refuses to admit it. Normally, things don’t end so well for that kid. Luckily, that wasn't the case with me, and I was able to get my bearings after a bit.

Still, I felt like I lost a bit in those first few chapters. I enjoyed them, yes, but I probably could have enjoyed them a lot more if I hadn’t been so confused. That said, I would highly suggest rereading the first two (or at least the second) book prior to reading Circle of Fire. Zink does briefly review a few key events. But the review is just that: brief.

Of course, there’s one thing I didn’t forget: Dimitri and Lia. Originally, I had been pro-James. After all, he works in a library. What’s not to love? But after meeting Dimitri, my allegiances quickly changed. I was so, so happy to see that Zink didn’t fall prey to the Curse of the Sequel. For once, my favorite couple did not break up or bicker relentlessly in the subsequent book. If anything, they grew closer. Hallelujah!

The pacing of Circle of Fire also afforded Lia and Dimitri time to develop their individual characters better. In Prophecy of the Sisters, the story moved slowly and the developments were very subtle. In Guardian of the Gate, there was a great deal of drama and development, all of it happening in rapid succession. In Circle of Fire, Zink found a nice balance between the two. I enjoyed the action just as much as I enjoyed the down time. It was during this time that Lia was able to reflect on all that had happened. Her life and personality have changed so much over the course of the series, and it was nice to have a chance to get to know this new Lia. In fact, I liked getting to know all of the characters more. Zink really gave the characters the chance to further develop themselves, even Alice.

Though the ending wasn’t quite as epic as I would have hoped, I found it to be an overall engaging read with a satisfying ending. Much like John Green’s Looking for Alaska, it was the final chapter that really made the novel. The sentiments Lia expressed tied the series together wonderfully and brought everything back to the heart of the trilogy: sisterhood.

4 stars

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