Published by J.A. Redmerski on November 18th 2012
Everything about Adria Dawson’s life has changed in unimaginable ways: the shattering betrayal of her mother, the fight for her life and sanity…the loss of her humanity. But now Adria must face the ultimate challenge and risk not only her life, but the lives of everyone she loves at the wrathful hands of Isaac Mayfair’s father.
Determined to help unravel a mysterious message deeply rooted in an unhinged mind, Adria becomes obsessed with traveling into Aramei’s turbulent past to see the truth of how the relationships and betrayals between the Mayfair and Vargas bloodlines were formed.
Meanwhile, Adria and the Mayfairs are doing everything they can to smoke out and trap the Praverian traitor. A trip to Providence uncovers not only an old family line who are enemies of the Praverians, but also raises questions about the Praverian’s true agenda.
But the traitor will be caught. People will die. And Adria’s destiny to be the cause of a war will come to pass. But what could a kind and simple girl like Adria Dawson ever do that could be considered an act of war? The landscape of the werewolf world will be forever changed in the climactic conclusion to The Darkwoods Trilogy.
The Darkwoods trilogy is easily a favorite of mine. Exploding with rich characters, unique werewolf lore, twisty plots and plenty of action; Redmerski hits all the right spots. Book one, The Mayfair Moon caught me by surprise when I read it back in January. I was slowly warming up to were-centric novels, a process seriously sped up the moment I was introduced to Isaac Mayfair. He was smoldering. The perfect eye candy. True, he had loads of secrets that were sure to cause some trouble down the road, but he was very protective and even sweet, at least, when he wanted to be. Like Adria, I was easily smitten.
I fell for Adria as well, of course not in a romantic way but in a reader loving their main character way. She was feisty and brave. A true survivor. Having spent more than half her life in a broken home with a mother and her abusive boyfriend, Adria remained remarkably strong and true to herself. I found her high level of compassion remarkable. This I suspect was due to the short stick she’d been drawn most of her life. The one bright spot in Adria’s life was Alex, her older sister. Unfortunately after relocating to Hallowell Maine, Alex fell in with a “shady” crowd and quickly begun pulling away from Adria. This of course sent Adria towards finding new friends, new love and unfortunately new enemies…
The Darkwoods trilogy is all about sacrifice, perseverance and redemption. In book one we were introduced to a somewhat coy, Adria who looked up to her sister and continued to love her mother regardless of the broken promises and bad mistakes made on a constant basis. Adria was basically thrown right into a dangerous war that had been occurring for hundreds of years between clashing werewolf clans. Instead of cowering or giving up, Adria proved that she was every bit as brave and powerful as any werewolf. She continually grew stronger, surprising not only her friends, but herself as well. The Ballad of Aramei continues Adria’s journey through self-discovery and self-empowerment.
Throughout books one and two, secrets and mysteries had been piling up left and right. One of the hugest, surrounding Aramei, thankfully was answered and resolved in the final installment of the Darkwoods trilogy. I loved getting to know more about “Aramei” and the part she played. There actually turned out to be a heck of a lot of similarities between her and Adria which made the story even more interesting. We also got a little more intel on Praverians, although not as much as I would have liked. The concept of these supernatural beings is so fascinating, something truly original and one of a kind brought to us by Redmerski’s seriously awesome imagination. I realize that the big Praverian reveal will probably occur in the planned spin-off but still it would have been nice to get a little more information. I felt like little was answered yet a lot more was put into question.
Except for the Praverian part, I thought Redmerski did a great job of sewing up the Darkwoods’ storyline. We got a lot of great closure, especially on a few key relationships. I thought that Adria’s character growth reached it’s peak, and that a few other character’s whose agendas were constantly put into question were revealed for good or bad. Those who needed redemption were able to seek it and those with the strongest hearts accomplished great feats of sacrifice.
I only had two somewhat small quips with this book. Being the third book in a series I already loved had me pre-convinced that I’d enjoy this one. However, it took me quite a while to get into this story. At times I found that there was a lot of description and little dialogue which tended to bore me a tad. I don’t have any halfsie stars, so although I have 5 shown I give The Ballad of Aramei 4.5 stars.