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Monday, August 10, 2020

The Last Uncharted Sky by Curtis Craddock


Official Author Website
Order The Last Uncharted Sky over HERE(USA) or HERE(UK)


Read Fantasy Book Critic's interview with Curtis Craddock
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Curtis Craddock was born in the wrong century and quite possibly on the wrong planet. He should have been born in a world where gallant heroes regularly vanquish dire and despicable foes, where friendship, romance, wit, and courage are the foundations of culture and civilization, and where adventure beckons from every shadow.

Instead, he was born on Earth and lives in a world bounded by bureaucracy, hemmed in by cynicism, and governed by the dull necessity of earning a wage. An exile in this world, he is a biographer of friends he's never met, a chronicler of events that never happened, and a cartographer of places that never were.

FORMAT: The Last Uncharted Sky is the final book in The Risen Kingdom trilogy. Published on August 11, 2020 by Tor, it's available in all formats from all retailers. Cover art by Thom Thenery. Length - 455 pages.






REVIEW: The Last Uncharted Sky opens with a bang. Jean-Claude burns down a temple, loses a reliquary, and lets a dangerous lunatic escape. Meanwhile, Isabelle and Bitterlich face unexpected dangers on their expedition to the highest point of the world.

When last we left our heroes, things have turned (or, rather, seemed to have turned) out well for them. Isabelle and Bitterlich prepared to explore unknown parts of their world, together. Jean-Claude proved there was a method to his madness and gained an apprentice. Even Marie found a vocation. Rather lethal, but who am I to judge?

Before starting the book, I expected plenty of thrills and surprises, and I got them. Craddock surprised me with how dark, daring, and nerve-wracking the story was. All key players had to prove themselves not only to survive but to save their relationships and the kingdom. Craddock has done his best to break them, physically and emotionally. Especially Bitterlich’s past hides painful secrets that explain his work ethics, focus on work, and a level of distrust toward others.

Isabelle suffers from increasingly disturbing and disruptive hallucinations, a consequence of the events portrayed in The Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery. If she won't figure out how to ward off her ailment before it destroys her, her mission will fail. And failure is not an option since it would mean undoing the entire realm.

Craddock introduces new characters. I’m sure readers will find Rebecca, a young and fierce pick-pocket, endearing and likable. Without spoiling things to you, I can tell her role in the story is much bigger than anyone could expect. Let’s leave it at that.

Craddock wraps up all dangling plot points, he throws a ton of surprises into the mix, and gifts readers with a surprisingly complicated romantic arc. He also develops, deeply, all of his characters, from the main to the supporting ones. Not only do Isabelle and Bitterlich become even more intriguing (both separately and as a couple), but so do their friends and enemies. Speaking of which, I need a novella about Marie. Or, better yet, a series focusing on her. An enormous part of the trilogy’s success and readability comes from how interesting everyone in this world is.

The Last Uncharted Sky is intense, dramatic, and thoroughly satisfying. It has it all - the tightly written plot, first-class worldbuilding, and absolutely stellar character development. A glorious conclusion to The Risen Kingdom trilogy.


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