Author: Sara Ella
Series: Unblemished #3
Publishing Date: May 1, 2018
About the Book:
Eliyana Ember is stranded in a foreign country in the Third Reflection with no passport, the inability to mirrorwalk, and zero clue where the nearest Thresholds back into the Fourth or Second might lie. Her mind is a haze, her memories vague. She knows a wormhole from the Fourth sent her here. She remembers her mom and baby brother Evan. Makai and Stormy and Joshua . . .
Deep down El realizes she must end the Void once and for all. Is there a way to trap the darkness within its current vessel, kill it off completely? To do so would mean sacrificing another soul—the soul of a man Joshua claims is a traitor. But he’s lied to her before, and even El senses Joshua can’t be fully trusted, but one thing is certain . . .
The Void must be annihilated. And only the Verity—the light which birthed the darkness—can put an end to that which seeks to kill and destroy.
WOW! What an end to the series! I confess I’m currently in “book fog” after finishing this one. Although the book gives a satisfying ending, I still find myself processing some of the allegorical truths this series contained. I don’t often read fantasies, but I’m so glad I read this one. This series truly is Narnia meets Once Upon a Time (OUAT). In OUAT the characters traveled between different realms, but in Unblemished the characters traveled between reflections.
I really don’t want to do any spoiling in this review, so I will really try not to share too much detail, but I will share that throughout this series finale there are a lot of loose ends that are tied. While I intentionally was reading to try and “figure it all out,” I will confess that there were pieces I was genuinely surprised by as well. This series was so masterfully put together that the first line “You can’t understand the beginning until you reach the end,” holds so much truth you have to read it to fully understand yourself. And by “beginning” I mean starting with the first book in the series. This is definitely a series that needs to be read from start to finish in the right order. There is so much artistry in weaving all the pieces together that you don’t want to miss out on any of it.
I personally like how this series has a more realistic take on what the battle of Good Vs Evil is really like for us. Even though El is the Verity’s vessel, she still has to fight to prevent the darkness from having a foothold on her heart. Even though Ky is the vessel of the Void, he is still able to look to the Verity to help him choose light. In a lot of stories we see a more pure battle, where each side is either all good or all bad. This series shows that we all have our flaws. We all need to fight to make sure we are making the right choices. We all need to fight against fear and anxiety that can keep us from doing what we know we should. This was such a strong and powerful message that points both to our need for Christ, and our need to resist temptations in our life.
One thing that I hold of great importance on my blog is to look at the content and provide warnings when necessary if it could be difficult or triggering to readers. With that in mind I have to share of two specific scenes that you should be made aware of. (Don’t worry, no spoilers with this). This is what I will call a “cutting” warning. It is known since the first book that Ky has a knife made of “mirrorglass” that will wound an enemy in battle, but the wound will heal once the knife is removed from their flesh. This book shares where he got it from (not sharing), but the person he got it from cuts themselves to show how it works. He then does it to himself as well so he can understand the pain inflicted while the wound itself heals. There is also a scene where Ky cuts into himself to let some of the black blood from the Void ooze out of him. Although these scenes are very small to the story, they could still be very triggering to some readers.
As a whole this series was amazing and contained several powerful messages. If you enjoy looking deep into what you’re reading to get more out of it, this is the series for you. If you appreciate the message of Narnia with the action of OUAT, you will thoroughly enjoy it. Although recommended to more mature audiences, I do highly recommend it 🙂
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in hopes of an honest review. I was not obligated to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Age Appropriateness: Please see my content warning above. This is a great series that is geared towards teens and YA, but I feel its also important to be aware of the content. I would definitely label this one more as “mature” rather than attaching a specific age to it. In the least I would express caution for younger readers.