I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Monstrum by Kat Ross
Release date: June 15th, 2018
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
In the third volume of the Fourth Talisman series, the hunt is on for the three daevas whose powers saved the world once before….
On the wave-tossed White Sea, realm of smashers and sea monsters, a ship is carrying Nazafareen and Darius to the Isles of the Marakai, where the wise woman Sakhet-ra-katme has guarded the secret of the talismans for centuries. But another is searching too, a man born in the brutal prison of the Kiln, who plans to use the talismans to free the Vatras and their mad king. Between them stands a young Marakai girl, ignorant of her own powers. From the moonlit treasure vaults of the Isles to the emperor’s lavish palace in Tjanjin, Nazafareen and Darius face their deadliest and most cunning foe yet.
In the mountain fastness of Val Moraine, the Pythia’s minions are on the scent of another talisman, this one from the Danai clan. Trapped behind a thick wall of ice, everyone’s going slightly mad—the perfect cauldron of suspicion and betrayal for Thena, who sees a chance to redeem her failure and bring the talisman back to Delphi. Then she’ll be free to indulge her twisted obsession with Darius—and make him pay.
And in Samarqand, Javid is drawn into the treacherous currents of a royal succession. When the old king dies and his son takes the throne, the depths of the prince’s depravity become clear. A journey north reveals the source of the spell dust he’s addicted to—and leaves Javid with an impossible choice.
I’m at a loss for words…this book was honestly that AMAZING! I’ve adored everything that Kat Ross has released so far, but Monstrum is something truly special. It didn’t feel like the third book in a series and it certainly didn’t act as a bridge or set-up for a grand finale. Even with a fourth book already proposed, this novel did not hold back. It was action packed, fun to read and all consuming.
I don’t want to write too much about the plot here because I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything. Basically, the story revolves around three magical talismans, which in the wrong hands, could lead to world destruction. Like in the previous book, Solis, the adventure picks up right where it left off. That’s one of the things that always stand-out to me with Ross’ books. She wastes no time in setting things up. If you’re reading the third book in the series, then you don’t need a massive recap. You know what’s going on and if you don’t completely remember, she drops hints here and there. Instead, the focus is on driving the story forward. The pacing is relentless and I really enjoy that because it really immerses the reader into the world and situation of the characters. Ross really upped the stakes this time and the characters are forced to make tons of difficult decisions. My heart was beating non-stop the entire time!
While the world building and magic is amazingly well written, what has always made the author’s books standout for me are the characters. I feel like Nazafareen and Darius are old friends of mine. This is the sixth book to feature their relationship and I love them to pieces! While I’ve read about these two for quite sometime now, Ross never lets them stand still. They are always developing and changing. Nazafareen has always been my favourite character…she’s impulsive, inquisitive and strong willed. Her storyline has been by far the most interesting and I would love for her to have even more page time than she already does. That said, I do appreciate how Ross is slowly making me feel for the “evil” characters. The villains are “bad” and do things that are morally questionable, but she slowly strips away their layers and reveals why they do or believe certain things. It makes it so difficult for the reader to takes sides, and this makes for a complex and interesting reading experience.
Finally, FINALLY…a lot of my unanswered questions were finally addressed in this book. Of course I have even more now, but I was fascinated by the magical people called the Avas Vatras. They were mentioned in the previous book, but not much was revealed. Here we learn more about them and they are honestly much more frightening than I thought! Basically, this book is fantastic and one that you don’t want to miss out on. If you haven’t started the series yet do so now!!! I can’t wait for the fourth book in the series. Right now, there isn’t any information up on Goodreads and the wait is already making me suffer. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK ASAP PLEASE! ❤
About the Author
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.
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