Aerie - ending a great series with a thud
Now that the war is over, it is time to right the wrongs of the prior generations and to undo the damage done by the Magi. It is no small task to establish a new society, especially when it is is being built upon the ashes of two old ones, as both former kingdoms still maintain a lot of strong feelings and biases that don't just disappear because the war is over. Kirron hopes to establish a new role for the dragon jousters in a society no longer dominated by war, while Aket-ten complicates his life as she strives for equal female representation amongst the jousters. Old prejudices die hard though as female dragon jousters is not a concept that Tia or Alta would have been willing to embrace. As everyone pours their hearts into finding a way to build something better for the future they quickly come to realize that they may not have the time to do so as there are other threats out there ready to pounce on them while they are in a vulnerable state.
I was curious to see what direction Mercedes Lackey would choose to take this series since the last book would have been a reasonable ending and I must say that I find myself wondering what went on behind the scenes. This book starts at a slow pace the would indicate that it was perhaps the start of a new trilogy before establishing a new threat and confronting it in such a hurried manner that it left me scratching my head. It is almost as if somebody said to Mercedes Lackey "I know you are almost done with this book but you need to wrap this series up now so you can focus on something else." and she had to quickly come up with a series ending that she wasn't expecting to write. I would actually be ok with the quick wrap up but it doesn't in any way leverage what made the series so enjoyable. I won't spoil the ending but my advice is for you to do what Mercedes should have done and consider this series a trilogy that ends with Sanctuary.
Ryan Burke delivers another solid performance as the narrator of the audiobook version and if you are listening to the series and gotten this far then you obviously are ok with his performances.