Last Dragon Standing (Heartstrikers, Book 5)

Monday, April 16, 2018


Last Dragon Standing (Heartstrikers, Book 5)
Rachel Aaron, 2018

Premise: Sequel to A Dragon of a Different Color. The endgame has begun. Bob, seer of the Heartstrikers, faces the culmination of his final plan. In order to save the world from a Nameless End, Julius Heartstriker and Marci Novalli must rally all the dragon clans and the forces of human magic, but that might not be enough.

This final book brings the series to a fairly satisfying conclusion. It’s maybe a tad too happy of an ending to have much weight, but it is still a lot of fun.

The characters are as charming as they have been all along. All the factions we’ve met (along with some random red herrings) are here for the big finale, and everyone has a part to play.

The only other criticism I have is that giving all of these characters their respective emotional arcs takes a lot of pages. A pretty significant chunk of the book is tense conversation in which everyone hashes out their various issues, rivalries, plots, histories, etc., while there is literally a world-ending timebomb progressing in the background. A character even lampshades this at one point. It’s all interesting and satisfying conversation, but there is an awful lot of it. I find that this structure (an extreme focus on character moments at the expense of plot/action) is more common in independently published fiction and fan fiction. This author is enough of a pro that I kept reading. I always wanted to know what would happen, but it did drag now and then.

I loved the beginning, establishing Bob’s plans, and his role in this volume was very satisfying, as was Marci fulfilling her partnership with Ghost. Julius’s part had less impact; everything he did continued to grow naturally out of him accepting and embracing his unique strengths.

Despite the weak points, I enjoyed this series a lot. It has a great world and fantastic characters.

4 Stars - A Very Good Book

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