QUICK HIT - The themes in the novel will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. And in typical Dekker fashion, although the series is over, Dekker and Lee hint that there might yet be more to come.
It all began when Rom Sebastian was entrusted with a vial of blood and a cryptic message. Actually, it all began before that, when the world was nearly destroyed and do save it, an airborne virus was released that sapped humanity of all emotion, save fear. The vial of blood and the message were the keys to undoing the damage and releasing the walking dead into true life. That was nine years ago, as told in the book known as Forbidden.
Rom has seen so many things since then. Salvation. Destruction. Friendship. Treachery. Life. Death. And living death. When Rom drank the blood, he found himself imbued with new life--he could feel, he was truly alive. Some time after, he discovered a boy named Jonathan, who was truly alive, and whose blood could also bring others to life. Jonathan was to be the true Sovereign, the true ruler of the world, but he was killed and his people divided. Mortal tells this story.
Sovereign concludes the epic trilogy by picking up six years after Mortal concludes. Some of Jonathan's followers have understood his sacrifice and injected themselves with his spilt blood. Now imbued with a new awareness of life, characterized by wisdom and knowledge, this small group struggles to survive in a hostile world, slowly losing hope that Jonathan will return to them. Those who rejected Jonathan's sacrifice in favor of their extended lives and heightened sensory perceptions call themselves Immortals and are led by Roland, formerly one of Rom's best friends. Lastly, there are the Dark Bloods, ruled by Feyn, who have in their veins a perverted form of emotions that makes them pure evil.
As you can tell, THE BOOKS OF MORTALS is not for the faint of heart and Sovereign is not a novel that can be divorced from the previous two books in the series. Everything ties together, sometimes overtly, sometimes just implicitly, and it takes a careful eye to catch everything. Metaphors and imagery meet a fast-paced thrilling novel that serves to teach as well as entertain, to enlighten as well as enthrall, and to question as well as thrill.
Yet, just like Mortal, I do have criticisms, about Sovereign. While Dekker and Lee did a good job diverting from the imagery used in Dekker's popular Circle series, there are times the imagery overshadows the story. There are a number of times you've left wondering why something happened a certain way (such as all the injections of blood), that aren't explained well in the book but are there for the metaphor to exist. And don't get me wrong, I love the metaphors and to me, the strength of a fantasy book lies in how it uses them, but the story must be central, and sometimes I felt that the message was pushed more than the story.
That aside, Sovereign is an epic conclusion to what has been a solid series. Lee's lyricism combines powerfully with Dekker's plotting to create a beautifully written novel. The two authors have a definite synergy--you can't point to a part and say "This is Ted" or "This is Tosca," it truly is a collaboration. And though I felt the message was heavy-handed at times, the story that shines through it still a good one. In the end, though, Sovereign is a thinking person's novel. It's not a throwaway read. The themes in the novel will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. And in typical Dekker fashion, although the series is over, Dekker and Lee hint that there might yet be more to come.