I think I sat on this review a little bit too long. I wanted to think about the themes and the overall series and not come in on a gut reaction, except now the lines between the books have flared together a bit especially since I binged the last three.
Disclaimer that this post is going to get a little series spoilery because it’s book 5 and I think it requires a little bit of discussion about the series as a whole. Anyway, let’s jump in!
Bookish Quick Facts;
- Title: Broken Veil
- Series: Harbinger #5
- Author: Jeff Wheeler
- Publisher & Release: 47 North, June 2019
- Length: 346 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐✨ I definitely recommend the series, although I’m not sure that it got stronger as it went
Here’s the synopsis from GoodReads:
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jeff Wheeler’s epic Harbinger series comes to a breathtaking conclusion as two women are swept into a battle that could destroy two worlds.
Rescued from a world of poverty, Cettie Pratt has avoided a bleak destiny—until now. Deceived and manipulated, she has been groomed for the ultimate betrayal: to destroy her best friend and stop peace from uniting two war-torn worlds. Her path leads her to a mysterious underworld where appearances can be deceiving.
Sera Fitzempress knows the value she has to her enemies. As heir to the empire, she must keep her foes at bay and prevent them from unleashing a being of unspeakable evil upon the world while fighting a brutal war. But her enemies are more cunning than Sera expects, and the key to their plans is none other than her best friend.
Neither woman knows what to believe. Neither one knows if she can trust the other. Both Cettie and Sera have made decisions that have irrevocably changed them. But the decisions they have yet to make will determine the fate of their world…
As I said, I’ve been the last three books in the series so it’s a bit hard for me to remember where one book started and the other ended. Each book does have some time pass between events but for the most part the story picks up where it left off.
Each book in the series has quite a bit of action and it’s hard to say which one was the most action-packed, but I think Broken Veil takes the cake there. We got to see Cettie at the poisoners school, which was one of my favorite parts of the series because after reading Kingfountain I always wondered what exactly happens in those places. It’s a very good example of how different facets of culture and conflict do not necessarily view themselves as evil. In any other world Cettie would have loved it at the school
Keeping on the Kingfountain train of thought, I definitely missed something huge by not reading the trilogy focusing on Trynne. There was a cameo at the end of Broken Veil that featured Owen and Sinia, and I have no idea how the actual heck that happened but I’m curious now. Apparently Cettie also ended up like Trynne in more ways than one, which brings me back to how Wheeler seems to have rehashed a lot of old ideas in the Harbinger series.
Combining the worlds so much definitely worked though, especially when comparing the religions and showing that even in such a divided culture there is harmony to be found in these things.
Sera and Cettie both spent quite a bit of time walking in Maia’s shoes, Ereshkigal came back, there was the Oathmaiden thing, plus bringing all the old Muirwood lore back – either Wheeler ran out of ideas, or more likely to me he wrote this for the people who probably won’t go back and read Muirwood.
I’ve always thought that he should re-release those books with updated editing so that it’s not embarrassing to recommend them, but I think that this series was a concession to the unlikelihood of that ever happening. The new series also is about very very early Muirwood.
Okay, let’s get back to talking about Broken Veil.
I have always respected Wheeler for not being afraid to kill off characters, and as a result we get to hear Adam Creigh as the interlude voice in this edition. Adam won my respect as an honorable and brave figure throughout these books so it was nice to get a look inside his head. I love the fact that he ended up in a hospital and found fulfillment after all of the things he’s been through in the series
The same for Cettie and Sera, everyone got pretty good resolutions although the book felt unfinished to me.
Now speaking of the end of the book, let’s talk about divine intervention. I don’t mind it in this case because the Medium is kind of the unsung hero of both the Muirwood and Kingfountain trilogies, although in some degree it made the struggles of the characters seem slightly diminished. One could also look at it as multiple tests of faith being rewarded, and a message to Sera about the future of her realm. It was definitely an epic act of divine intervention that resolved the action and it also reminded me a bit of a few passage in Revelations, terribly paraphrased, that talk about moving mountains and islands, raining hailstones, and then calling on these devices for protection and salvation. One other thing to consider is – who is piloting Idumea?
With Ereshkigal coming back and the Mirror Gates closing there is a new world coming for sure.
The two things that really annoyed me were 1) The stupid kidnapping thing. Cettie and Sera took turns being kidnapped throughout the entire series to further the plot. It lost its interest and got old real quick, and by the time that I happened in this book I was just so sick of it. Sera didn’t need to see the things that she saw but at the same time I just wish he had come up with something different.
The second super annoying thing is that for all the fact that Stephen and the Fitzroy’s adopted her, Cettie spent a chunk of this book calling him her “almost brother”. That’s fine but she had been calling the others mother and father and sister already so it felt very weird for her to start using that language and it stuck out like a sore thumb.
All other things aside, I did absolutely love the entire story and plot line of this final book in the series. Everyone including Corinne got brought to their knees at one point or another. The level of intrigue and backstabbing had my head spinning in the best way possible.
I’m finding it hard to bring my thoughts onto paper but overall I would definitely recommend this one if you like strong characters, vivid settings, political intrigue, questions of faith, found family, action, period dramas, redemption arcs. Overall this was a satisfying ending to the series and that is the important thing.
I do want to take a minute and mention the audiobook. Kate Rudd narrates most of Wheeler’s books and she is absolutely phenomenal. Her voice does such credit to these characters and events. I switched back and forth between audio and text and always appreciate the fact that Wheeler provides free and/or extremely cheap audiobooks as part of his run on Kindle unlimited.
The Harbinger Series:
- Storm Glass
- Mirror Gate
- Iron Garland
- Prism Cloud
- Broken Veil