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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Review: Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink

Title: Circle of Fire
Series: The Prophecy of the Sisters
Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: 3 Aug 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help--or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister--and maybe still does. James doesn't know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way.

There are some secrets sisters aren't meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.


Believe me the synopsis does not lie when it says it is a bitter-sweet ending, but it really is a wonderfully rounded conclusion to the series, when I think deeply about it - which yes I have - there just could not have been any other possible ending. Apologies in advance but this is book 3 in the series and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books The Prophecy of the Sisters (review here) and Guardian of the Gate (review here).

Lia is back in London with Dimitri *swoon* by her side to locate the rest of the prophecy and prevent Armageddon. No pressure at all on Lia, lol, she only has to prevent the world being overrun by demons by closing the gate between earth and the other plane.  No easy task when you have to battle your own twin sister to do it, I adore Lia and the way in which she pushes the rules of society that bind her at that time. Things we take for granted, like being able to wear trousers for example were considered scandalous, this made me giggle into the book. How silly some the conventions society placed on women through history really were in retrospect.

Outwardly it appeared as if Lia and Alice had changed personalities at the beginning of this book. Bringing to vivid life that not everything/everyone can be utterly good or bad there are shades of grey with all of us having the ability to be bad, it is how we choose to act that makes all the difference. The portrayal of free-will as the ultimate power is profound and brings to mind the whole debate of destiny versus autonomy. The whole philosophical arguement of how we live our lives rather than being dictated to. Whether this is under the demands of the prophecy or it could also be applied to the demands of society/parents/friends.

The way in which power itself can be viewed as a force and how it can ultimately consume brought wonderful imagery to mind.

I have to admit I think that Book 2 in the series Guardian of the Gate is my absolute favourite, why you ask, because of the ideal of Altus, that is my utopia *sigh*. Thank goodness there are references to it within the story and the way in which their society is different from conventional society, far more peaceful and open *sighs again*

The story just flows beautiful and I adore Michelle Zink's writing style, the way in which the relationships are portrayed adds to the realism of the plot. Obviously not all relationships run smoothly all the time, there are arguments  differences of opinion and betrayals. These really added a powerful dimension to the story. The use of sibling rivalry was shown in a heartfelt manner that I am sure anyone with a brother or sister will easily identify with. How we sometimes feel that the other sibling is the favourite to the detriment of ourselves. This is the only time I have felt sympathy toward Alice was during this book. I absolutely love, love, love the relationship between Lia and Dimitiri, not only do the sparks fly off the page it goes far deeper than that, a much deeper connection.

Anyone that has had children will completely relate to the way in which Lia feels without sleep. How it muddles your mind, decreases your will to do anything. Sleep can be a miracle cure. the way in which small pleasures bring such great comfort really stood out and made me appreciate the little things a lot more.

I am not going to go into details of the plot because it really will spoil the whole series. I will say that the ending was beautiful and so well developed, I loved it.

Although classed as a historical novel it has a timeless quality to the story. The battle of good versus evil woven through time and history. A wonderful end to the series. 

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