81 points, 4 ¼ stars


After a fierce battle, Erin of Elliath and her comrades have brought hope back to the Servants of the Bright Heart. The throne of Marantine has been reclaimed, and a new king rules the last remnants of Lernan’s people.

Within the lands of the Dark Empire, however, the power of the Bright Heart grows dim. The last stronghold of the Light, the well of Lernan’s power, is quickly draining in the shadow of the inexorable forces of Darkness. The High Priests compete for supremacy, and even the nobility of the Dark Empire has begun to feel the burden of their never-ending war. The First of the Sundered, Lord Stefanos, has returned, once again walking the night and devouring the innocent in mourning for his lost beloved—Lady Sara, Erin of Elliath.

Erin is determined to free the Light and release her long-dead friends from the purgatory of the Dark Heart. She must once more journey into the heart of the Dark Lands to confront the legacy of Lady Sara and the inevitable destiny of the lines, forcing her toward a final confrontation with her most formidable and ancient enemy—the man she loves.


“I could never be queen. I can’t even rule myself.”
And yet, for a while, she had chosen to be empress. For her people. The slaves of the Empire.


Chains of Darkness, Chains of Light starts up about two months after Lady of Mercy ends. And with that it dashed all my private hopes and dreams that were based off a single ambiguous sentence in the early middle part of the previous book. Darn.

This book was full of “hurry up and wait”. Go here, and wait. Go there, and wait. Run along to here, and wait. All while we keep seeing Erin say “this is going to go poorly for me” the entire time, trying to build up tension. And it just ended up falling a bit flat.

I liked this book a fair amount. It finished up the story I started in Into the Dark Lands that I loved so much, with characters I loved so much. But, honestly, I was just a bit disappointed. It felt like the author just didn’t know what to do to end this. There were all these conflicting things and feelings going on, unlike the previous books which felt pretty together. It isn’t often I don’t know how I’m meant to feel by what is happening on screen, yet I got caught this time not knowing. Which is especially weird because the entire rest of the series I knew exactly how I was supposed to feel – and typically cried my heart out because of it.

There were also so many new perspectives this time around to sort out. It felt like we were jumping around all the time. It was almost like a cacophony of just noise. In this final book, everyone had a part to play but no one actually did anything. Too many people, to little to actually do. All this before an ending that just fell flat, and that I actively didn’t like. It did what it told us it was going to do in book one, yet the process and result wasn’t one I liked.

I’m just really disappointed because I loved this series so much in the beginning.