It seems fitting that as 2017 sputters out its last days, I finally finished the Battle of Existence versus The Void contained within Destroyer of Worlds, the last book of Kingdom of the Serpent and finale of the 9 book cycle that started back in The Age of Misrule.
Which means we're back with Jack Church and his 5 Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, as well as what remains of the 5 from The Dark Age trilogy. The Void is starting to fill its essence into The Burning Man in the Far Lands. The Army of 10 Billion Spiders gathers around it. The Tuatha de Dannon and gods of several pantheons gather to appose, joined with The Army of Dragons.
In the meantime, Church is dealing with the revelation that at some point, he will become The Libertarian and everyone is dealing with Niamh's betrayal.
At the outset, Mallory and Caitlin undergo a ritual to enter the Grim Lands to find the Extinction Shears (with Hal in the Pathfinder Lantern), while Virginia Dare leads Church's group to the enemy's fortress along with the two keys, Jack (not Church, the one with the Wish Hex in his chest from Queen of Sinister) and Miller (Mallory's friend from the Knights Templar)
There's a heck of a lot of betrayal, angst and redemption leading up to the final battle, including a trip through the Winterlands where the remains of the Drakusa once existed before the human pantheons came about. Callow, from The Age of Misrule, makes an appearance again.
We find out what the caraprix actually are.
And we get several answers to questions from throughout the entire sequence.
But as for the Ragnarok itself, we do get chapters of the Gods fighting against the Void's army in their own colorful Charge of the Light Brigade.
And in the end, the question of whether or not this very long form fairy tale has a happy ending is really in the eyes of the reader.
While I have enjoyed this series immensely, I must say that the epilogue seems to suggest that the finale we've just read doesn't matter in the end.
I will also say the I understand probably more than I want to some of the conversations about the call of the void and the lure of the mundane spell, wherein contentment replaces joy and the desire to become more.
Honestly, when I set out to read these last year, I was expecting something else. What I got was something different but well worth the time investment.