Monday, 11 December 2017

BLOG TOUR Review + Giveaway: Steadfast by Michelle Hauck


I received an e-arc of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour organised by RockStar Book Tours. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse

Published: December 3, 2017

Format: eBook


Series: Birth of Saints #3

Pages: 560

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks



Summary


The final novel in Michelle Hauck's Birth of Saints trilogy, Steadfast follows Grudging and Faithful in telling the fateful story of Claire and Ramiro and their battle against a god that hungers for blood.

When the Northerners invaded, the ciudades-estado knew they faced a powerful army. But what they didn't expect was the deadly magic that was also brought to the desert: the white-robed priests with their lethal Diviners, and the evil god, Dal. Cities have burned, armies have been decimated, and entire populaces have been sacrificed in the Sun God's name, and it looks as if nothing can prevent the devastation.

But there are still those with hope.

Claire, a Woman of the Song, has already brought considerable magic of her own to fight the Children of Dal, and Ramiro, a soldier who has forsaken his vows to Colina Hermosa's cavalry to stand by her side, has killed and bled for their cause. Separated after the last battle, they move forward with the hope that the saints will hear their prayers, their families will be saved, and that they'll see each other once more.

A stirring conclusion to the Birth of Saints series, Ramiro and Claire's journey finds completion in a battle between evil and love.


My Thoughts...


Ooops, she did it again... Michelle Hauck managed to wow me once again with this stunning conclusion to her Birth of Saints trilogy! I am so in love with this series, I'm more than a little sorry that it is over... Might be just the right time to schedule a back-to-back reread!

Picking up right where Faithful left off, Steadfast takes us on an emotional rollercoaster, as the stakes for our characters grow ever higher. After having witnessed entire cities burned to the ground and armies destroyed, they are now faced with a threat bigger than ever before: the potential annihilation of humankind itself. Desperate to find a way to stop Dal, the Northerners' Sun God, before he succeeds in satisfying his blood thirst, our heroes are forced to separate and rally together new and unlikely allies to their cause.

Steadfast has all the elements of the first two books that I adored, and keeps adding more! The world building continues to be spot on, and the complexities of these many societies, with their individual customs and beliefs, continue to be explored in great detail. In a masterful touch, this time round we get a glimpse into Northerner society, too. I loved the introduction of Santabe's point of view and the scenes with the Northerner commander Rasdid. We now get a glimpse into this foreign society, and as Teresa and Ramiro figure out, it proves to be much more complicated than it would appear. Personally, I wouldn't mind getting to know them a little bit better still, so perhaps there could be room for a new spin-off series at some point? Just throwing it out there... it is nearly Christmas  after all (wink, wink)... 
This series started out really well, and right up to the end it did not disappoint! The characters kept growing and developing incessantly, each of them desperately fighting his or her own battle to understand their own identity and make sure it would not be lost in the wider war for survival. Michelle Hauck somehow managed to masterfully weave together a fantasy world, great action scenes and ethical dilemmas: just how far should one go in order to ensure their own survival? And what about other people's? These and other questions keep swirling around in all the main characters' minds... and our own. Issues of social justice and contrasting world-views are also present once more, expanding on what was introduced in the first two books, and showing how the destruction of the old world order can be the starting point for something new to be built. 

At times funny, at times heartbreaking, Steadfast is the perfect conclusion to a stunning trilogy. There is never a dull moment, and each and every scene and character are absolutely key to the story's development. A book I could not put down, and one I wished could never end, it will draw you in and keep you wondering up until the end: has the age of saints returned? And it will show you just how powerful love, faith and hope can prove, even in the most desperate of times. 

Rating: 5/5


   
Curious about the rest of the series? Why not check out my reviews for the first and second books, Grudging and Faithful, by clicking on the covers.

About Michelle:


Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.


She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant's Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer's Double Edge. She's repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.




And now... Time for a giveaway!!


2 lucky winners will receive paperbacks of the first two books in the series, GRUDGING and FAITHFUL. US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule


I'm so excited to have been part of this tour! Make sure you check out the other stops as well:

Week One:
12/4/2017- Hooked To BooksInterview
12/4/2017- Lisa's ReadsExcerpt

12/5/2017- Bibliobibuli YASpotlight
12/5/2017- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview Book 1

12/6/2017- Cuz I'm A NerdReview Book 1
12/6/2017- Always MeExcerpt

12/7/2017- BookHounds- Interview
12/7/2017- Books and LaddersReview Book 1

12/8/2017- Spilling WordsExcerpt
12/8/2017- Myth! Magic! Mayhem!Review

Week Two:
12/11/2017- Book for ThoughtReview
12/11/2017- Author Dan KoboldtInterview

12/12/2017- Don't Judge, ReadReview Book 1
12/12/2017- Literary MusingsSpotlight

12/13/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
12/13/2017- K.T. Hanna – AuthorReview Book 1

12/14/2017- Books at DawnExcerpt
12/14/2017- books are loveReview Book 1

12/15/2017- Twinning for BooksGuest Post
12/15/2017- Book BriefsReview