The Shadow Lord has the Philosopher’s Stone, and therefore an army of invincible penumbra. He also possesses the fragments of Excalibur, the legendary sword prophesied to be the instrument of either his own destruction, or that of the Child of the Prophecy. The sword, he knows, requires blood to be reforged… and he knows exactly whose blood he wants. Meanwhile, the Watchers are desperate to steal back the fragments of Excalibur and find out how to reforge them before the Shadow Lord does. Isdemus places Peter and Lily in Carlion’s sister cities for safe-keeping until the war begins. But Peter and Lily have an idea that might enable the Watchers to steal back the fragments, in spite of the Shadow Lord’s invincible army. Their plan requires them to travel halfway across the world, to an island largely believed to exist only in Greek mythology. Along the way, however, the Shadow Lord uses a pawn to convince Peter and Lily that they are powerless. Without their gifts of the Ancient Tongue, will either one of them stand a chance? In this gripping conclusion of the Piercing the Veil trilogy, the Watchers and the Shadow Lord both amass their ranks, the battle begins, and the true identity of the Child of the Prophecy is revealed—to the shock of all.
Impossible is a breathtaking, stunning conclusion to the Piercing the Veil trilogy. Soaked in suspense, violence, and epic battle scenes, the culmination is chaotic, gritty, and full of hope.
Typically I break reviews down into pros and cons but this time, I’ve decided to break down my thoughts into a play by play series of reactions. In the beginning of this book, the characters are still reeling from the devastating death in the last book, Invincible, and uncertain where to go from here. All everybody knows is that the Shadow Lord has risen, has horrifying weapons, and is en route to world domination at the expense of humanity.
Despite the obvious sorrow, the introduction was a little slow for me and the shifting between different perspectives, because there were so many subplots this time was a bit overwhelming. The story is divided into two missions, one to recruit warriors to fight against the Shadow Lord by forcing the civilians to open their eyes to the impossible, the magic within themselves and the terrifying creatures lurking in their shadows. The other, to reforge Excalibur, find the 3 weapons of the gods mighty enough to stand a chance against the Philosopher’s Stone, and ultimately, to fulfill the prophecy and slay the Shadow Lord.
Every book in this series is amazingly intricate and it’s so impressive how the author integrates multiple myths and religious beliefs and mixes them with physics. It’s absolutely brilliant and the puzzle pieces fit into a seamless narrative. The plotting is astounding. Wow. If you’re looking for a read that will challenge, inform, and tantalize you, this is it. The characters, down to the smallest, all play a role in the main thread of the Arthurian legends. Each has his or her part in shifting the balance of good and evil.
There’s something beautifully human about each of these characters despite their elemental magic. They are broken, scared, and lost but they find it within themselves to be brave, to face the darkness head on and put their lives on the line for the fate of the world. Brock has done a complete 180. He’s bold, confident, so sturdy in his beliefs that the pettiness that use to blacken his soul is completely erased. As a spokes person, he is critical in advancing the cause and a powerful leader whose faith can persuade the masses. Once again Eustace is adorably mischievous and courageous. He has utmost faith in Peter and when all hope is lost, it is him who has the light in his heart to change the world. The final reckoning in the Tower was heartbreaking, raw, and poetic. The part about Eustace’s role, the hope of a child moved me. It’s been a long time since something has struck me so emotionally and left such an impact on how I perceive the world.
Lily was irritating. She’s stubborn and idiotic at times, she refuses to see more than one side, rushes head first into danger and drags Peter along with her and he goes with it just to shut her up. When Lily isn’t grating on your nerves, she’s fiercely loyal, adventurous, smart, and an insane risk taker. She makes the choices that everyone else is too afraid to for fear of failure and though she regrets some of the decisions, she comes out stronger. Lily’s feelings for Peter are more developed this time. She finally realizes how much Peter has become part of her life, he’s everything to her and the desperate way she yearns for him, not a hunger, or lust, but a need for him by her side is very different than many YA books out there now.
Peter has grown into a man. He still weighs his options but he’s not not encumbered by logic and though he doubts, he has utmost faith in his friends. Peter kind of gets dragged along by Lily but is quick on his feet and uses his powers to filter out the worst options and manipulate fate. Peter views the world in an unconventional way and appreciates life. He’s not as angst-filled or brooding, he’s accepted that sacrifices must be made to destroy evil. Why it took him so long to recognize his feelings though made me want to shake him and scream at him to look at what’s right in front of him.
Kane. Poor, scarred, helpless Kane. It was truly disquieting to listen to Kane as he fought the Shadow Lord. His change of heart showed the scared, sad little boy beneath the cocky, sarcastic exterior. Kane’s words to Peter were so him, full of his edgy, snarky personality but revealing the connection he formed to Peter.
The Greek mythology was a huge surprise but after Egypt in the previous book, it shouldn’t have been. The trip to the Underworld was dark and twisted and made of AWESOME. The wraiths and the Ferryman. I loved, loved, loved, these confrontations to achieve the weapons.
If you’re a fan of legends, epics, magically complex reads, this is the kind of story that will make your heart grow and fill you will hope as well as startle, mystify, and intoxicate you with the battles, mysteries, and sense of adventure.
C.A. Gray is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD), with a primary care practice in Tucson, Arizona. She has always been captivated by the power of a good story, fictional or otherwise, which is probably why she loves holistic medicine: a patient’s physical health is invariably intertwined with his or her life story, and she believes that the one can only be understood in context with the other. She still wants to be everything when she grows up. She moonlights as a college chemistry teacher (she has a degree in biochemistry, with minors in Spanish and Creative Writing), does theater when she gets the chance, sings, plays piano, was once a personal trainer and in coffee shop management. She is blessed with exceptionally supportive family and friends, and thanks God for them every single day!
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