- Title: The Immortal Words
- Series: The Grave Kingdom, #3
- Author: Jeff Wheeler
- Publisher & Release: 47 North – September 22nd 2020
- Length: 347 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ for fantasy and clean readers ❤
Thank you so much to 47North via NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review! I was so excited to be able to read The Grave Kingdom Series as ARCs and I am just mind blown by the end of the trilogy
Here is the synopsis from Amazon:
As kingdoms fall, brave young warrior Bingmei fights to fulfill a prophecy and save what’s left of the world from the coming darkness. Should she fail, Echion, the diabolical Dragon of Night, and his queen will hold sway over the next thousand years. With Echion comes his unstoppable army of dragons—powerful, vengeful, and under his control.
Accompanied by her loyal friend Quion, Bingmei journeys toward her last hope. It lies among the savage beasts just beyond the ancient Death Wall—an uninhabited realm from which no one has ever returned alive. Bingmei’s mission is to find the phoenix shrine and learn the Immortal Words that will allow her to harness eternal magic. With Echion and his legions in pursuit, Bingmei must choose her words wisely to break Echion’s spell and accept her fate.
Bingmei knows what she must do. She must join the ranks of the dead as well. For a fearless and selfless warrior, it’s the ultimate sacrifice. But Bingmei is about to discover that even in death, the greatest sacrifices are yet to come.
First off – if you want to read my review for book #2, that can be seen at https://onereadingnurse.com/2020/07/01/arc-review-the-buried-world-by-jeff-wheeler/
So yeah… I knew this was going to be an epic conclusion but I was not expecting half of the things that happened in this book. To keep things spoiler free, let me just say that this is another fantastic series conclusion by Wheeler and he didn’t at all take it in the direction I thought he would.
I can’t honestly say that The Grave Kingdom series was my favorite by Wheeler, but it’s truly a work of art. I can always count on Wheeler for wholesome fantasy reads, strong women with incredible character arcs, and all sorts of lore, myths, and found families. Even in an Asian based fantasy he twines in an underlying Christian message. It was nice that he wasn’t preachy in these books, and I felt like the Phoenix and the Dragon could have carried a few different allegories. I would love to ask him if he was thinking about any specific reference regarding the interactions of the Phoenix.
Wheeler is an exquisite world builder as well, from setting to food to weather and the smells of conscience, I truly enjoyed the world of The Grave Kingdom. Each region had it’s own character, each city it’s own personality and feel, customs, traditional food, and animal guardians, and I think truly that this is Wheeler’s best developed world yet.
Plus I got my OTP wish. Oh I was so happy I almost cried a little bit for these characters at the end. The books contain a wonderful cast of characters including a snow leopard and a blind king. Bingmei went from a little girl to a fledgling leader to a strong, thoughtful, powerful woman who was able to decide that humanity was worth saving. There was a wonderful open ending that echoes the book’s message of good balancing evil in the cycles of the world. It makes me think maybe there may be another trilogy in the world at some point and I would be totally on board with that.
My only issue was a bit of confusion involving Rowen and the Phoenix, I think Wheeler got lost in the mythology a bit and didn’t quite explain Rowen’s role in the grand scheme of things adequately. Specifically when, why, and how was he chosen, plus when did he become the Phoenix? Couldn’t he have just busted out of the prison long before he did? It was slightly incongruous. Also the fighting scenes were getting pretty repetitive by the end of book 3.
If you are looking for a truly epic fantasy series set in an Asian based world, with dragons, phoenixes, lore, love, loyalty, and found family, this is the book for you. I was so happy and proud of the entire quonsuun and thought that the ending just was priceless.
The Immortal Words, the epic conclusion of The Grave Kingdom series, releases 9/22.