The half star off is for the slithering jim-jams the Big Baddie in this one has given me. I am not sleeping for the foreseeable future. *convulsive shudder*
As predicted, sleep was elusive after reading this frightfest. I haven't had that response to any other book in the series but this one Did Me In. The name, "the rust," gave me all the horror-movie shudders I could ever (not) want.
Excuse me I need to bleach my every body part and scrub my innards with Lysol.
The main thrust of this story is betrayal. The awfulness of experiencing betrayal is, by definition, that it's only one's intimates that can perpetrate it. Author Hawk was so deft in portraying the double-edged sword of betrayal in each leg of the multiple relationships that underwent it that I can only applaud. All of the betrayals were very real, as in understandable and organic to the relationships involved. No overwrought "because I am eeeeeeviiiiiillllll" emotionality; instead the betrayals (very much in the plural) are simply fallible humans failing to reach for love when confronted by conundrums in coping with unmet expectations.
Along with the Big Baddie *wracking shudder* we're treated to Whyborne's meditations on Widdershins' magical vortex and its role in his life. We're given a short burst of Persephone Whyborne. We're teased with an oncoming apocalyptic confrontation. We're left to ponder the role of pragmatism in Whyborne and Griffin's mutual fate as allies become scarce. In short, book 8 is one helluva ride and I had a damn good time ripping through it.
Except for "the rust" *nauseated convulsive shudder* that is.