Author: Rachel E. Carter
Publication: February 7th 2017 by Rachel E. Carter
Series: (The Black Mage #4)
Genre: YA Fanstay/Action-Adventure
Summary: He’s the Black Mage and she’s the traitor to the Crown.
Ryiah’s world was shattered the night she discovered King Blayne’s nefarious plans. Now, she has to betray the one she loves most in order to save the realm from war. Torn between love and duty, Ry finds herself on a perilous mission to help the rebels and convince the kingdom of Pythus not to honor its pact with the corrupt king of Jerar—all the while deceiving the most powerful mage in the realm, the very man sworn to protect the Crown and hunt the rebels at all costs: her husband.
She’s one step ahead, but sooner or later the curtain will fall.
Sooner or later, she’ll have to fight.
Witness the epic conclusion of The Black Mage series, and see just how far one girl will go to save her kingdom and the boy she loves—even when that boy has become the enemy.
*THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS. PLEASE DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU'VE READ LAST STAND! THANK YOU!*
Hello, people who've read Last Stand! Are you okay? Because I'm definitely not. Okay, I knew this book was going to be painful when I finished Candidate. We all knew it was going to go downhill from there. But nothing could have prepared me for this book.
The whole section of Ryiah plotting behind Darren's back for the rebels was so heartbreaking. I knew she was making the right choice by not telling him, but at the same time, it was killing me because I knew he would find out sooner or later. And it was definitely sooner. I didn't see the whole map-scheme coming AT ALL. When Blayne and Mira showed up, my heart literally stopped beating for a second. And when Darren found the map, I was just screaming "NOOOOOO!!!!" in my head the entire time. I knew he wouldn't believe her, but it hurt so bad to see him turn against her. And the torture scenes!! My heart kept breaking over and over for both Ryiah and Darren having to go through that.
And just when I thought things might not be so bad when Paige rescued her and told Darren had been behind it, IT GETS EVEN WORSE. Blayne freaking hiding the fact that he has magic?!?! Definitely did not see that coming. And when he killed Wolf, and then PAIGE. Paige was one of my favorite characters, and she did NOT deserve that death. Not gonna lie, when Ryiah finally killed him, I wasn't the least bit sad. GOOD RIDDANCE. But then, of course, Darren shows up, and then things really go downhill. He blames her for Blayne's death, which was expected, but then he also blames her for killing Wolf and Paige?? Excuse me, WHAT?!?! Like I know he thinks she's a traitor and he's in shock, but why would she kill them???
The next section of this book was pretty just me in shock. When Mira kills all of those villagers, and Ryiah finds out Darren is king, I was just like, "Kill me. Kill me now." And when Ryiah makes the plan to try and talk to Darren one last time, I held onto that hope that Darren would be like, "I believe you now. Let's stop this war and run off into the sunset together!" Aaaand, that didn't happen.
After Eve died in Apprentice and they explained what a "last stand" was, I knew Ryiah was going to have her last stand. I honestly went into this book expecting Rachel to pull an Allegiant on us. When she stabs herself and the chapter ends and then it shows up with the definition of a last stand, I almost put the book down. I did NOT want to turn the page and see that it was Darren's POV. But nope, THEY'RE BOTH ALIVE.
And then they get their happily ever after, right. Lmao nope! First, they have to save Darren from being EXCECUTED. The whole time I was sick to stomach becuase I was nervous that Ella, Alex, or Ian would be killed. AND THEN Priscilla shows up like "yeah I knew you guys were gonna save him the whole time; who do you think told the guards to feed you info?" YAASSS QUEEN. Honestly, Priscilla will always be one of my favorite characters. Seriously, she's so freaking badass.
The epilouge is so bittersweet. After everything, Ryiah and Darren finally got their happy ending. Thinking back to First Year and seeing how much they had to go through to get there made me cry so hard. They have a daughter, Eve (picturing Darren as a father literally makes me want to die of happiness), and finally get to go back to Jerar and see everyone after 8 years. And then Ryiah and Darren get offered positions at the Academy, and I died. It was seriously so perfect. Again, bittersweet becuase of what they went through on the way there, but it was nice to see them finally get the ending they deserved.
Okay, wow. That was long. If you made it through all that ranting, I applaud you. What did you guys think about this book? Let me know in the comments!
My song rec for this book is Down by Brandyn Burnette. This song is so good! It has the same darker tone as this book, and if you read the lyrics, they go really well with this whole series!