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Lost Acre

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Member Reviews

An fitting end to a trilogy that got me hooked with their stunning book covers, and made me stay with the amazing cast of characters.
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This was an intricate and exciting end to a fabulous and unique series. The characters are unique and the story complicated so this is not one to be a standalone. I’m sorry to see this trilogy come to an end. It’s been quite a ride!
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I had high hopes for this as I loved book 1 and 2 but I found this book to be slow and not as interesting as the others before it. The characters were interesting and they were generally well rounded and believable but the text lacked a move and motivation that the previous ones had. I think this will be the last one in the series I pick up as the quality and tone doesn't seem to be getting better over time.
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Lost Acre is the third and final volume in Andrew Caldecott’s Rotherweird trilogy. As such it is not a stand-alone. New readers should start with the highly original and enjoyable (and probably best of the three) first volume of the series Rotherweird. It is not fantasy that will appeal to everyone. This series takes time and patience and has a fondness for its large cast of quirky characters that only the English are able to deliver. But in all the senses that makes this series great, Lost Acre has in spades, including a satisfying resolution.
Lost Acre opens straight after the events of Wyntertide. Given the huge cast of characters this means that readers will be a quarter of the way through the book before they have caught up with everyone who matters. It also means that more than a passing familiarity with the events of the previous books is essential. Given the length of time between volumes this is a big ask for readers but Caldecott does not have time for too many recaps (only a couple are provided). The extensive character list is helpful for jogging the memory but only to a degree.
Suffice to say that Geryon Wynter has returned from the dead and is determined to take over Rotherweird to his own ends. Shades of fascist regimes come into play as he manufactures fear, manipulates the populace and cements his control. But something deeper is going on. There are wheels within wheels that not even Wynter is aware of. Meanwhile the cast of ragtag heroes slowly piece together what is going on and marshal themselves and their allies to fight back.
As with other books in this series, the action is anchored around a number of set pieces – including a masked ball that Wynter throws to draw out his enemies and the annual coracle race on the river Rother which, once again, is an opportunity for both drama and Python-esque comedy.
While Wyntertide felt sometimes like it was treading water and going over old ground, what it was actually doing was laying the groundwork for the conclusion of this series. There are plenty of callbacks to events in both that middle volume and to Rotherweird. So that while Lost Acre does not sit on its own, it does provide a conclusion in which all of the numerous twists land even though, and perhaps because, they have been foreshadowed.
Lost Acre is a triumphant final volume to what has been a constantly surprising piece of modern British fantasy. Part Gormenghast, part Monty Python, part mythology, part Terry Pratchett, a little bit steampunk but with the occasional dragon and changeling, and with plenty of word puzzles along the way. And while it has plenty of antecedents, this series, its setting and its tone is totally unique and thoroughly enjoyable and should be celebrated as such.
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In a sentence? A surrealist romp through a fantasy Elizabethan England, peppered with mythology, botany, astrophysics and literature. Or in a shorter sentence: a delight. This was such a great end to the trilogy. You can tell the author is having fun and when that communicates itself through the prose it’s like being included in the joke. I think I may well have missed things from the beginning of this series – it’s so intricately woven I think clues may have escaped me. This has filled me with delight since it means I can just go back and reread the whole thing from the beginning. If you like your fantasy straight forward, this may not be for you. It was sheer perfection for me J
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A word of warning, Lost Acre is the third book in a trilogy. If you’ve not read books one and book two then I suggest you proceed with caution. It is entirely possible that minor spoilers may lie within. 

APOCALYPSE NOW?

Geryon Wynter, the brilliant Elizabethan mystic, has achieved resurrection and returned to present-day Rotherweird. But after the chaos of Election Day, how can a stranger from another time wrest control? And for what fell purpose is Wynter back?

His dark conspiracy reaches its climax in this unique corner of England, where the study of history is forbidden and neither friend nor foe are quite what they seem.

The stakes could not be higher, for at the endgame, not only Rotherweird is under threat. The future of mankind itself hangs in the balance.

Lost Acre’s predecessors, Rotherweird and Wyntertide, were an absolute delight from beginning to end, and this final book in the series is the icing on a perfect cake. This series has been such a delight, I’m going to miss it. I will reign in my heartbreak, power through the grief, and endeavour to convey some semblance of professionalism. Please note however, that what follows is written by a broken man with a heavy heart.

When we last left England’s only isolationist independent city state, things were not good. The outcome of the mayoral election has left the town split down the middle. The meddlesome Guild of Apothecaries were in ascendancy, busying themselves by sowing the seeds of discontent. For your average Rotherweirder, confusion abounds. Apparently, country-siders, those living within Rotherweird valley but outside of the town proper, are no longer to be trusted.

Geryon Wynter has arrived and, using all his charm and devilish cunning, seized control almost overnight. Things do indeed look pretty grim. The various factions standing against the new ‘emergency’ mayor are struggling to keep up. Not a huge surprise really, Wynter’s nefarious schemes have been centuries in the making, so of course our heroes are on the back foot. The final battle for Rotherwierd has begun and it is up to a mismatched group of oddballs, eccentrics, shapeshifters and a permanently confused history teacher to save the day.

As you would expect from the final book in a trilogy, there are revelations a plenty. The author is obviously having a ball delivering his endgame. My advice is pay close attention. Clues about what is what and who is who are there if you look for them!

The narrative is peppered with some subtle, and not so subtle, allusions to the current state of the British political landscape. I’ve become more than a little jaded by all the madness we’ve experienced over the last few years so it’s a great deal of fun watching a writer lampooning it so mercilessly. The various forms of economic and political suicide our glorious leader is contemplating are completely nonsensical, it seems only sensible that it should be mocked at every opportunity.

There are rare occasions when I enjoy a series so much I get genuinely despondent when I know it is drawing to an end. This is such a case. I’m going to miss this weird little town. Rotherweird is such a blissfully unique creation. It manages to be strange and otherworldly but also familiar and comforting at the same time. I’ve come to the conclusion that Rotherweird is essentially a slightly skewed microcosm of the country I call home. The best and the worst of United Kingdom are captured in this satirical fantasy and it provokes a myriad of emotional responses. Caldecott proves time and time again through his subtle humour and insightful characterisation that he knows exactly what makes this stupid little island nation tick.

I know this trilogy isn’t going to be for everyone. Things are often surreal, and the premise is undoubtedly odd. The characters are somewhere beyond strange and far out the other side. Personally, I loved it.

I don’t really think there is much more I can say, I feel so bereft. If you’re contemplating purchasing Lost Acre, then chances are you have already read what has come before. You’ll know exactly what to expect. The good news is book three delivers at every turn. Lost Acre is the perfect swansong to the wonderfully executed series of books.

Lost Acre is published by Jo Fletcher Books and is available now. Highly recommended.

My musical selection to accompany Lost Acre has a suitably Elizabethan air. Lute Music for Witches and Alchemists by Lutz Kirchlof is just the right amount of atmospheric to ensure the good (and bad) citizens of Rotherweird have a proper send off. Sometimes you just can’t beat busting out a good madrigal or two.
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If you attempt to read this before the previous two in the series, you will be utterly confused. So don’t do it! Go back and read the others first to understand who the characters are, how the worlds fit together and what on earth has led us to this point. Not only will you then have the advantage of knowing what is going on, but also you’ll have read two additional amazing books to boot. In fact I wish I’d reread the previous ones to get me up to speed quicker.
Lost Acre brings the series to a close in the most brilliant way. It’s not all sweetness and light, usually quite the opposite. Evil has arrived in Rotherweird and Ragnarok is just around the corner. The mixture of mythology, history of literature and botany, not to mention astrophysics, pyrotechnics and home-brewing all meld into a fantastical cornucopia. At times I found it slow going as I wanted to digest the information fully to give it it’s proper due, conversely towards the end I romped through it and found myself laughing out loud which I don’t recall earlier in the series. I think, due to the sheer scale of the trilogy, the number of characters and the vast array of backstories, this may be a bit of a marmite series – you do have to put the work in to fully appreciate it. Luckily, I absolutely loved it. Thanks Mr Caldecott for producing such a masterpiece.
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This book is massive, detailed and concludes the Rotherweird trilogy.

Following Geryon Wynter's return to Rotherweird, a number of prophecies start to come true. 

Rotherweirders are bound to take sides in a battle between the Guilds themselves as well as factions within the populace, now that Wynter has arrived. Or is it Bole?

It is difficult for the Rotherweirders to know what is true historical fact and what is not, as they have no history to reference. The study or keeping of history records is forbidden, they live entirely in the present. 

It would be so easy to recount the story in outline, but that would not do it justice, nor would I be able to fully encompass the depth and detail that it holds. 

I really liked that there is a who's who at the front of the book, invaluable in getting a handle on the many characters and their places in the story. 

The only problem that I have with the book is that any length of time away from it, that extends beyond a short interlude, makes picking up where I was, difficult. The detail is extraordinary and you do have to keep on top of your reading to stay with it!

When I was not actually reading the book, it did still pop into my head, this character or that character and what they had been or were likely doing. I might even have dreamed about it, but I'm not sure, as I can't remember now! 

I thoroughly recommend this book and if you haven't read the previous one (or the first in the series) make sure that you read them in order, to get the most from Rotherweird.
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So, in this third book we're back in the town of Rotherweird, a place that is very much Gormenghast-on-Thames: a fantasy town with its own history, traditions and proud independence, set among the rolling fields and woods of Southern England and peopled by an amazing collection of egos, eccentrics and barrack-room lawyers. Much of the charm of these books is, for me, the gradual revelation of the town itself - with its aerial walkways, oak-framed buildings, curfew, ban on historical records, Guilds and semi-autocratic Mayor.

Against that background, focussing attention on an actual story might seem a tall order but it's one that Caldecott delivers with gusto, having spun two episodes so far of what is really one continuous narrative and served up with a lot of oomph.

As this is the final part of the trilogy, you might expect me to say you really need to have read the previous parts first. I am sometimes ready to dip into Book 2 or even 3 of a trilogy, but this isn't one that will work for - so if you haven't read Rotherweird and Wyntertide, GO BACK AND DO IT. Indeed even if you have, a reread would be appropriate - while Rotherweird and Wyntertide had a bit of breathing space between them, a little conceptual platform to allow the new reader to acclimatise, here there is no such mercy. Lost Acre picks up pretty much where Wyntertide left off, with a catastrophic election for Mayor of the town, the Guild of Apothecaries bidding for power and the sinister Wynter appearing on the scene.

And with a plethora of characters in motion, outside, inside and under the town (and in Lost Acre itself). Some have experienced loss, some are running, others are baffled by events, or trying to turn them to their own advantage. It's a teeming picture, full of movement and action, but an easy way in it isn't. As a returning reader, I'd recommend you just plunge in and surf the first part of the book, reatuning to the Rotherweird atmosphere, which is here in spades. I'd been a little afraid that the returning Geryon Wynter, or the manner of his return, would be such a shattering experience that the books lost their ambience, with, effectively, a Dark Lord looming over the town. But I needn't have feared - while the tension cranks up to 11 here with the return of the town's most notorious son (but, of course, the history ban means the citizens don't know that) it is a very Rotherweird situation, a matter of the town's Regulations, the manoeuvrings of the Guilds, the rivalry between Rotherweirders and Countrysiders - as well as the myriad schemes, hidden features and tangled relationships that the previous two books have exposed.

So, it doesn't matter too much if you don't follow an allusion to something from Book 1, thrown in as two characters try to work out what's going on. The gist (the Journeyman's Gist, even) is pretty clear. Wynter is trying to reestablish authority - including establishing a very sinister "Rotherweird Defence Force" complete with smart uniforms and armbands - but he isn't wholly in control of events.

We meet the same cast of characters as before (there is a helpful list) and they are still trying to fit the pieces together (remember, some of these people have multiple identities that they're hidden over the years). Vixen Valourhand is still daring and resourceful, Snorkel treacherous, and the Polks ingenious. But there are surprises too: far from being an all-powerful villain, even Wynter isn't sure what is happening (can it be he's really being played?) - and many secrets still lie hidden.

Overall, I enjoyed that this book dips much less into the past than its predecessors. Caldecott has been gradually revealing how the (forbidden) history of the town relates to its present, showing us events in Roman times, in the medieval period and under the Tudors. While there are a few such episodes here the story is set firmly in the present day, which I felt gave it slightly more drive - which is important, as the significance of Rotherweird itself to the wider world and universe, and the threat it embodies, become central.

In summary: an excellent close to this trilogy but don't try to read this as a standalone.

(I'd also commend the illustrations by Sasha Laika - they are moody, allusive and add greatly to the atmosphere).
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The third and final book in the intricate and lyrical Rotherweird Trilogy plunges us right back into the action following the disastrous mayoral election and return of Wynter that we left in Wyntertide. Identities are untangled, alliances are made and Lost Acre yet again seems to be under threat…

Andrew Caldecott’s hidden town of Rotherweird and it’s otherworldly counterpart Lost Acre are just as fascinating as ever. This outing cemented some favourite characters for me among the diverse and sometimes confusing cast of primary players. Namely the headstrong and often prickly Valourhand and the ever put upon Gorhambury.

Lost Acre, like it’s predecessors is a book to be savoured. Try rushing it and you won’t get the full submersive effect of being plunged into the quirky town.

There are some lovely call backs to earlier in the series in this book, the coracle race, Oblongs tower chase, Green Man and the Hammer all recalled, adding to the general feeling of a wrapping up of the story.

If you like your fantasy complex, this is a trilogy for you and Lost Acre rounds the trilogy off in style. If you haven’t read these yet, do start with the wonderful Rotherweird, this is definitely a series to read in order.
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This is the third instalment of the Rotherweird trilogy. Evil is back in Rotherweird and it has a name, Gervon Wynter. As is seen all over this planet, some are charmed by this power and support his masterplan although not many of them have a clear view what this plan exactly represents. And then there is the Resistance,ordinary, well perhaps not so ordinary, townspeople and country people. Of course the weird city of Rotherweird, an Elizabethan anachronism, plays a major role in this story as do many major and minor characters. 
Still one of the best characters in these stories is the city of Rotherweird. It is slightly gothic,Dickensian, there is a touch of horror in it ,but it is foremost absolutely captivating. This world building ,although complex,is done with great skill and is one(of the many)attractive features.
As this is the third part of the trilogy it is fair to warn the readers that this is definitely not a standalone novel. If you have not been introduced to Rotherweird and its quirkiness, 
nor to some history or characters it is really unreadable. 
And as with all trilogies, especially fantasy,you are either completely mesmerized by it or you absolutely hate it!
Well,I was very happy that I read it as it gave me many hours of sometimes confusing,sometimes marvelous and very often amazing pleasure.
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The last book in a series is often the one that you're looking forward and the one that will not met you expectations.
This means that I had high expectations for Last Acre and was afraid to be disappointed.
I was wrong, the magic of this series worked again and I think this is the best one in this series.
Mr Caldecott style of writing always works a sort of magic that keeps you hooked and turning pages even when you're feeling overwhelmed and overloaded by beauty and the high numbers of characters.
You cannot put it down and you cannot read too fast because it's a kind of beauty you have to enjoy slowly.
This book, as the other in the series, is complex, multilayered and well developed.
There's a lot going on and all the pieces will fall into place in a fast paced and amazing end.
As usual the lines between good and bad guys is a bit blurred, this is not one of those fantasy books where there's a quest and the good guys are so good and the bad ones so bad.
The cast of characters is well written and there's a lot of character development.
The amazing style of writing and the humour are amongst the things that made me love this series.
It's a great reading experience, I'm sad to leave Rotherweird and curious about what will be next.
Please not that there is no way to read this book as a standalone.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the Quercus Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Andrew Caldecott concludes his gloriously stellar Rotherweird fantasy series in superb style, however, there is no way you can read this as a standalone, you are going to have go back to the beginning to make sense of this addition. This is hugely imaginative, original and smart storytelling that picks up from the last book which saw the resurrection of the evil, sinister Geryon Wynter and which cost the lives of integral figures fighting against him, such as Fortemain and Hayman Salt. Wynter arrives with a plot and agenda that been 5 centuries in the making to Rotherweird, a place where history is banned, and where the election for mayor ended in failure. A stranger to most, he begins to take over, posing as a mystic, the protector and hero, saving the people from monsters, all foretold by prophecies drawn on ancient coins. He knows all that his assistant Bole knew, ostensibly honours the old Eleusians and their descendents, but what are his nefarious plans?

Caldecott's world building is exquisite, complex and richly detailed in a narrative in which we see Wynter implacably mow down all opposition as he is installed in the now deceased Sir Veronal Slickstone's Manor as the new mayor. He takes advantage of the fear generated by monsters and the deaths of prominent residents to build a heavy and strong defence force, recruiting spies to carry out surveillance to identify all who oppose him with the intention of eliminating them. He lures the likes of born torturer, Carcasey Jack, to his side with money, aided by the likes of his loyal servants, Estella Scry, and Nona who smooth his way to gaining a stranglehold on the town. Wynter proves himself to be a different man from Slickstone who venerated exclusivity, Wynter exudes charm and his intent is to be inclusive, everyone is invited to his Unrecognisable party. In a narrative that is interspersed with Old History, the rebels that include historian Jonah Oblong, the feisty Vixen Valourhand, Tyke, and others work together and individually to do all that they can stand up against Wynter. Will they succeed?

This is not a fantasy and science fiction read to rush through, but to savour, besides which it demands the full attention of the reader with all the intricate and complicated details, not to mention the fact that there is a huge cast of characters to keep up with. I cannot imagine how much time and effort Caldecott put into planning and writing this superior trilogy, but I think it must have taken over his entire life for years. I for one totally appreciated this, I have loved and adored this series, the eccentric characters and their development. However, it will not be for every reader, although if you enjoyed Gormenghast and its ilk, then this is a series that is likely to appeal to you. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Quercus and Jo Fletcher Books for a ARC.
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Synopsis:
Geryon Wynter is back, and he’s building up a loyal following. But what does this evil genius want now? Why has he returned and what’s his big plan? Despite his historical atrocities, some of the city’s inhabitants are happy to side with him – while the others must band together to stop him.

The stakes are high: if Wynter isn’t stopped, it won’t just be the future of Rotherweird that comes under threat.

Review:
I can’t believe we’ve finally reached the final of the Rotherweird trilogy! These novels are a masterpiece in world-building, and Lost Acre is no different

As with the other two books, Lost Acre can be difficult to read at times. I’ve found that you really need to dedicate time and attention to get the most enjoyment from it. This isn’t necessarily a book you can pick up and put down for ten minutes at a time – you need to submerge yourself into this mysterious world and stay there for a couple of hours. Caldecott keeps you on your toes right until the very end – and expect plenty of sharp twists and turns along the way.

Both the characters and the world are three-dimensional and feel believably real. Caldecott’s attention to detail is unrivalled: he paints such a vivid picture in your mind that it’s impossible to forget this town and its inhabitants. From the history to the folklore to the geography, every single aspect of Rotherweird is plotted out and shown to the reader. It’s one of the few fantasy worlds that I often find myself thinking about in quite random situations – every now and again, the concept will pop into my head.

Out of the three books, Lost Acre is the one that stands out. To say this series finishes on a high is an understatement: the characters become even more developed, the plot is dark, witty and unpredictable, and Caldecott’s writing is superb.

Lost Acre wraps up this ambitious piece of work in the way it truly deserves. I’d advise barring yourself away from the real world and losing yourself in this intricate story.

Thanks to Netgalley, Quercus Books, Jo Fletcher Books and Andrew Caldecott for my ARC of Lost Acre in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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So this is the end of the amazing Rotherweird series (*sad face*).  No spoilers here, I will just say that these books have delivered a magical reading experience from the first page of the first book right through to the last of the last.  I will miss the characters, and their wonderful wit, even the dark and dastardly ones. So many times I have been disappointed by the end of a series but not this one.  I would like to be able to say that these books would made a wonderful movie or TV series but nothing on screen could ever compare to the wonderful world that has been built in my mind while reading so, maybe, this is one series that is best left alone by movie and TV.  

I'm very sad that this wonderful trilogy had to come to an end but also very grateful to have been able to read it and become so immersed in such a fantastic world.  Thank you NetGalley and Quercus.
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Well, when coming to the end of a trilogy, sometimes the third book can be a bit sloppy/rushed. However...that’s not the case with this one. It’s written with the same attention to detail as the previous novels. It picks the thread up nicely and continues all the way to the end. I love fantasy fiction (it’s a particular favourite genre of mine), and this one ticks all my boxes. It’s interesting, well thought out & I love the city that’s been created with it.
I’m sorry it’s now come to an end. 
The characters are fun and have developed nicely through each story. You can see that the author had really gotten into his stride with this one and I would love to see more from this author. I’m looking forward to his next project,
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for my arc. 
All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 
#LostAcre #Netgalley
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The Lost Acre brings Rotherweird trilogy to a close, starting straight after the mayoral election in Wyntertide (middle book) and the return of Geryon Wynter. Newcomers to the weird and wonderful town of Rotherweird should start with the first book since events and characters are closely connected.

Wynter is back, gathering surviving Eleusians, plotting and attracting new followers. His opponents, dispersed among town and countryfolk following the Election Day are also slowly coming together as they look for clues to Wynter’s ultimate goal in order to stop him. There are further riddles to unravel, new characters to meet and more prominence given to some of the side characters from Wyntertide. That’s pretty much all I’m going to say about the story as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

What I really liked about The Lost Acre – and the whole trilogy is the intricate and imaginative world building, the history and mythology that made Rotherweird valley – the town, the countryside and their inhabitants so unique. Caldecott is great at writing big set piece scenes and there are several in this book which fans of the trilogy will love. What I didn’t enjoy so much and, I also had the same problem with the second book, is that while the ‘good guys’ all work towards the same goal, they continue to do so largely on their own. This got really frustrating at times. The characters are also fairly one dimensional and by now, I wish there was more development and complexity to them equalling the complexity of the storyline. Still, I think The Lost Acre is a better book and one I enjoyed more than Wyntertide. It’s a good conclusion to an original and highly imaginative trilogy. 

My thanks to Quercus Books, Jo Fletcher Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read The Lost Acre.
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Thank you to Netgalley, Quercus Books and Andrew Caldecott for my arc of Lost Acre in exchange for an honest review. 


Spoiler warning, as this is the third book in the series this review will inevitably contain spoilers for books 1 & 2. 

Synopsis: Geryon Wynter has returned to Rotherweird and it's time to pick a side. Some of the townsfolk are drawn to his power and charisma, others remember the foul deeds he has done and reject him. But Wynter's on a mission, not only has he taken over the town, he's determined to ruin the lives of the countrysider's too. With a master plan 500 years in the making can the town's heroes save the day? 

The Rotherweird series is definitely a marmite series. I've found that people either love it or hate it. It's complex, intriguing and you have to pay attention to what's going on. For me I've loved it! I found Wyntertide the most difficult of the three but I've definitely loved the series as a whole. There is a large cast of characters with very similar names so it can get confusing in part but for me this just adds to the wonderful complexity of the series. It's definitely ambitious but it does work! It's very original and nothing like I've seen before.
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The villainous Geryon Winter has returned to Rotherweird with a megalomaniacal plan, but what is it? As in the previous two instalments, the plot has a lot of moving parts, and leaves you guessing until the end. This time around, I was reminded of the mediaeval whodunnit The Name of the Rose. Characters from earlier books are shown to have stranger histories than we thought. Some meet juicily sticky ends. The trilogy is concluded in a triumphant fashion, and I cannot wait for it to become a miniseries.  It deserves to be brought to life.
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Classic 2nd book in trilogy problems, it meanders quite a lot and I never really felt engaged with the characters because of this, it is a decent enough book but it wouldn’t make long for a 3rd in this series
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