Over the winter holidays, when feeling unfortunate for the lack of books to read, I was handed ‘The Broken Sky Trilogy’ by Chris Wooding. The series follows twins Kia and Ryushi as they are forced from their sheltered home into a bloody war and must find away to defeat the hateful King Macaan and restore balance to the world. The way the books are written are very similar to how an anime series would play out, a similarity made more prominent by the anime-style characters gracing the front cover. As I had never heard of the series, or even the author before, and neither the cover nor the blurb seemed particularly engaging, I approached the series with trepidation, unsure of what to expect and whether I liked it. Shortly into the first book, my trepidation was all but erased. It was fantastic.
Book 1: The Twilight War
‘The Twilight War’ is the first book in the series and as such, it acts as an introductory novel to the world and characters. But that is not to say it is in any way dull. Wooding manages to integrate the introduction of characters and ideas through Kia and Ryushi’s adventures as they discover Parakka. While the beginning does start of slow, the pacing quickly settles down into a manner that keeps you reading. It was a real struggle for me to put this down and I really felt towards the characters – they are rounded, realistic, and relatable. They really made me want to continue reading, not just to find out what happens next, but to continue the characters’ journeys.
Book 2: Communion
After the events of the first book, Kia, Ryushi and Parakka are lying low. In ‘Communion’, the theme of ‘Broken Sky’ is explored a little bit more, led mostly by the world of Kirin Taq. The concept of two worlds existing side by side is fascinating and I really loved how it was explored in this book. Not only that, but Wooding is not scared to make his characters suffer. They go through so much and grow a lot in the process, that by then end I was exhausted, but in a good way. I felt like I had gone on a very similar emotional journey as the characters, and the ending was just the icing on the cake. It was heart-breaking, frustrating and intense, but it still contained a sense of hope that made me so desperate to start the final book in the series.
Book 3: The Citadel
Everything comes to a head in ‘The Citadel’. The main characters are scattered far and wide, but that does not stop Parakka from making its final stand. What I love about Wooding is his ability to introduce new characters in each book that do not seem out of place at all. They quickly fit in with the rest of the story, and you feel like they have always been there. The story is woven together really well and there are plenty of twists that I absolutely adored, some I managed to guess before they were revealed and others that took me completely by surprise. The only thing I didn’t like was the resolution to Kia’s romantic sub-plot. But otherwise, the ending was fantastic. After the final battle, all remaining characters followed different paths that felt right to them, off to have different adventures, and I loved how well it was done. It made me feel that while the main story was over, there were a lot more to be had – the characters lived on.
All in all, I can’t recommend this series enough. The characters are amazing, the plot is well-paced and will keep you guessing. I could hardly put the books down, and when I did, it was only out of necessity.
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