Second Review for the day. Last book in these series. Series review coming next!
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows
Synopsis From The Book
The Great Abandonment has begun, and now dragons aren’t the only creatures facing extinction in the Fallen Isles.
As entire islands rise up from the sea, causing earthquakes, tidal waves, and utter devastation, Mira must use her growing connection with dragons to track a legendary treasure that could stop the destruction—the bones of the first dragon. But finding the treasure means traveling into the land of her greatest enemies.
What will it cost Mira to save the dragons, the people she loves, and the only home she’s ever known from total ruin? And what will be left of Mira once the final cataclysm is over?
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
Final book in a very interesting series. I’ve had a lot more fun with this series than I was expecting. Or rather, a different sort of fun that I was expecting. From this point on we have two large series with dragon shifter romances, and I somehow wish, I’d saved this series for later because of what sort of pick-me-up it is for me. I highly recommend so far. Let’s jump into the last.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
WHAAA. Okay so I totally read the end of this book (last page), before I was supposed to. Which is to say, I knew that it was coming but I had no idea how. Now I do. And oh my. This series was an excitedly fun read in total.
We pick up ten days after the first god rose. The people of his island are dead (or most are). The group are trying to figure out where the imperial spy is and learn about the memorial for the fallen. Aaru and Mira go to the memorial in disguise and find the spy. Altan, who they had locked up, escapes with Aaru’s help. Aaru and Mira then go to the leader summit the next day and there Mira sees Tirta (her body double) die to kill the treaty.
Mira and the others learn of how Paorah, leader who conned the islands, is trying to fight the Empire. The team goes to the empire first, to find the Dragon bones of the First Dragon, in hopes the bones can save the islands. On the way Mira learns that she is the shadow of the soul of a dragon. She will have to sacrifice herself in order to save the people of the Great Abandonment. They get to the Empire, and the empress greets them. Mira sees how the Empress uses the dragon bones as a sort of intimidation tactic. The Empress asks Mira to heal her dragons. Mira tries but needs more power. Only after time is she able to, but when she does Paorah’s forces arrive.
They use the noorestones that are unstable, and kill thousands of people, but Mira tries her best to save as many as she can. The dragons that are healed flee. The Empress refuses to take the refugees and sends them back to their deaths in the seas but keeps Mira. Mira takes the first dragon’s bones and flies. She gets to the boats and helps them flee the Empress’ wrath. They get to the last two remaining islands and try to appease them. On the first of the two remaining, they see a sacrifice about to happen and aim to stop it. They end up having to flee with the god rises. They turn to the last and she too rises.
It is then that Mira speaks to the first dragon who tells her that the Great Abandonment was set the day the first dragon died. It could not be stopped, but a new island could rise for the people if Mira gives up her dragon soul. Mira agrees but tries to get to Lala, her dragon, to tell her how much she loves her before their connection is lost for good. Time runs out and Mira dives in the water and creates a new island. She wakes with Lala with her, connection gon but bond remaining. The others arrive, all powers are gone, and the new island is named: Celestus: The Isle of Dragons.
What I Liked:
The Empire; Getting to look at the empire was amazing. We got to see a bit on their culture and how they function, as well as their Empress. I liked what we got, and I do hope the Empress can forgive Mira one day.
Paorah; Ah, the final villain who was too scared to do anything all the time. I thought his end was good, and his arc was. For someone who cared so little, he had a great arc of violence.
Mira’s Advancement; My girl became a dragon and then had to let that side of her go. She grew so much and I am so proud of her. The girl at the beginning would not have made the decisions that this Mira did. I’m happy.
Aaru’s Decision and Altan’s redemption; Aaru let Altan go to save people, and Altan did just that. He saved many people. He saved them as their islands discarded him. Aaru forgave him, and in that way I can forgive Altan in a way. He was still horrible, but he was redeemed if a little.
Mira’s Final decision; To let go of her dragon gift was heart wrenching. It was powerful and a great decision. I liked watching her have to struggle with it when there was no time.
Death; This struck me. So many people died. Not a few, thousands. People on the islands crashed to the seas discarded and dead. This is insane, because if the islands really did rise to become gods, it would make sense. I was surprised that the death toll (that would have been high) was kept high in the book and the toll it took on people was addressed.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
A bit more on the other gods in the skies; The three gods in the sky, I wish I knew more about the philosophies for them.
Time Taken To Read
“I want to take our time. We decide together. We decide for us.” – pg256