Review taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
First Sentence (ARC):
She was beaten.
First off, I cannot believe that in a matter of months I have read the entire series. While I am saddened to see The Goblin Wood series draw to a close, I am happy with how it played out in the end.
The Goblin War picks up pretty much were The Goblin Gate left off, in that Makenna, the goblins, and Tobin are still stuck in the Otherworld and slowly dying do to the world leeching their powers (Makenna and Goblins) and life force (Tobin).
The last book in a series is always bittersweet for me. On the one hand I want to know how the story ends and what will become of the characters that I have grown to love, while on the other I just want things to continue on.
With that in mind, you can imagine how I wanted both to blaze through the The Goblin War and devour the fantastic writing, plotting, and characters that Ms. Bell created; and make it last as long as possible. In the final book Ms. Bell, takes the reader on a pretty wild ride as each of the characters fight for the good of those the care about and set right some of the wrongs that they have caused throughout the span of the series.
I thought she did an excellent job in regards to the characters and bringing things to a pleasing end. One that both fit in and complimented the books.
As the last fifty pages of The Goblin War were barring down on me I was starting to wonder if everything was going to be wrapped up, or if it was going to have an open ending. The reason I mention this is because with so few pages left there seemed to be quite a few things unresolved, like, whether or not Tobin was going to make it out alive and if the Realm would survive the onslaught of the Barbarian attack. While a bit worrisome, everything turned out good and all loose strings were tied up.
One of the things that makes this entire series so good is the character development that goes on throughout all three books. I loved how the three main characters, Makenna, Tobin, and Jeriah, changed over the course of each book, and that the alliances each of them made helped to shape them into better people.
I liked how with each book Makenna became a little less wild, and slowly started to consider herself part of the human race again. I thought it was interesting to see how she changed as she was forced to interact with Tobin; who was probably the first human she had anything to do with since the death of her mother when she was younger. While she did lose a bit of her callousness, I was glad that she didn't turn into a sobbing mess and still had the stubborn take charge attitude that made her a great character.
Tobin was one of those characters that stills the show little by little. With each passing book I came to look forward to every appearance that he made because without Tobin there would have been no happy ending. I loved that even when his life was in peril he pushed forth and did what he knew needed to be done, and not because he was brave or trying to be a hero, but because it was the right thing to do. In my opinion, Tobin was the best character in the whole series.
Jeriah, I didn't care too much for him in the first two books, I thought he was too flighty and was trying too hard to prove himself. So the fact that I came to like his character is quite an achievement. I really liked that he finally started to see that each action has a consequence and that he started to think things threw before leaping into action and causing more trouble for everyone involved.
One thing that stands out must about The Goblin War would have to be Ms. Bell's writing, and how she brought all the different threads of the storyline to a fairly neat ending that left me completely satisfied. Her writing is definitely spot on, and one of the best fantasy writers I've read in quite some time.
The one thing that I did not like about The Goblin War would have to be that Makenna did not play all the big of a role in the final book. I would have liked to have seen more of her in the final book since she is one of the most fascinating characters in the whole series.
Content (may contain spoilers; highlight to see):
The only thing I can think of that needs to be covered, content wise, is that there is a fair amount of violence in The Goblin War. While there is some violence there is really only one scene with mild to heavy violence, and that would be when Tobin is being tortured by the duri, the warriors of the barbarians, and the shaman the two times he is caught by them. The latter being the worse of the two.
As far as I can recall, I don't remember there being any swearing in The Goblin War.
Final Verdict: The Goblin War a solid ending to a fantastic series.
The Goblin War earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.