I binge finished the Harbinger series last week and have just not had time to sit down and write about it. I want to wrap up my thoughts on these books before starting my Malazan talks! Reviews for the prior books in the series are linked at the end.
Let’s jump into it!
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Prism Cloud
- Series: Harbinger #4
- Author: Jeff Wheeler
- Publisher & Release: 47 North, March 2019
- Length: 348 pages
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟⚡
*The book currently has a 4.42 rating on GoodReads, so the majority of his fans are onboard with the series*
Here’s the synopsis from GoodReads:
Friendship is strained to its breaking point in Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jeff Wheeler’s fourth Harbinger novel.
When the emperor is assassinated, Sera Fitzempress is the noble most eligible to inherit the empire. Her upcoming marriage to the prince would cement her position. And as a champion for peace, Sera is the only promise of hope for staving off war between the worlds of Kingfountain and Muirwood. But standing between her and her enemies is just one devastating secret.
Sera’s best friend, Cettie, a girl born of a lower class, has made a shattering discovery: her entire existence has been a lie. Now Cettie must give up the only life she’s known and fought for and leave behind the man she loves to stop Sera’s wedding. For this discovery could bring the whole of Kingfountain to ruin.
As Cettie struggles to determine her true loyalties and loves, her allies fall to wicked plots, and she becomes increasingly alone on her journey to a destiny she never wanted—one that could ignite an unstoppable war.
Oh geez, where to start with this one. Cettie almost ruined the book for me. Prism Cloud was the best of them as far as plot, action, and intrigue, even the other characters shined, but Cettie was absolutely terrible.
Sera once again was the superstar of this novel. She broke out of her prison in Pavenham Sky transformed into a much more patient and focused woman and was able to make amazing things happen in both Empires. Trevon and Durrant were superstars too both in their own ways.
There was a touch of romance, absolutely lovely (and then heartbreaking) to see Sera and Trevon actually falling for each other after so many differences. One of my favorite aspects was how they discovered that Muirwood’s Medium and Kingfountain’s Fountain Magic were so similar
Another thing I respect Wheeler for is not being afraid to kill off one, two, or six of our favorite characters. The beginning and end of the book both featured terrible murders and just, wow. The Adam and Fitzroy scene at the end was unbelievably sad.
The other main plot line besides the ill-fated Kingfountain wedding was that Corinne finally outmaneuvered Cettie, who had a crisis of faith and totally succumbed to it. All the scheming and intrigue was finally revealed and yes, it went deep, but Cettie turned into a snivelling moron. It was so uncharacteristic and bad that reading her chapters was painful. I could not believe her arc went downhill so quickly – it was like Wheeler wanted to rehash Maia’s storyline (see next book) but honestly I would have rather seen Cettie fighting for Sera. Cettie knows what found family is and was willing to throw it all away so quickly, knowing that her deceiver was the worst of everyone!? It was just SO bad, it didn’t ring true at all.
And of course – she got kidnapped. I’ll talk about it more during Broken Veil but it really kills me that Wheeler’s MoA for this series is to alternately diminish each character while the other shines, like, how many times can you use kidnapping as a plot device in one series?
The rest of the plot and action held the faults at bay for the most part but I think Wheeler could have done better overall
My favorite part was 100% at Kingfountain, and everything involving Sera. Watching her maneuver against Montpensier and finally unravelling the entire political plot was by far the high point of the story. As was Sera and Adam’s escape after the terrible events that occurred. I also will talk about Adam more in the next book’s review but his bravery was stunning.
While the other characters and the action would have made this the best read of the series, Cettie dragged the book down. I’m coming in at a strong 3.5 with this one but by no means dislike the book or series at all.
Once again if anyone likes audio, Kate Rudd is amazing. She is clear and coherent and does great voices.
The Harbinger Series: