Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: Rise of the Ragged Clover

A quick note before we get on to the review: you may have noticed that entries are more sporadic this year. I'm trying to review as I actually finish books and I've been reading lots of adult titles lately. I am reading! But I can't promise reviews with any regularity here. Thanks for reading all the same!

Rise of the Ragged Clover (Luck Uglies, book three)
By Paul Durham
Published March 1, 2016 by HarperCollins
Reviewed from e-ARC

WARNING: There may be spoilers for the previous books in the series. Read my reviews here and here.

Things go from bad to worse for Rye when she witnesses her father taking part in the Descent. Will her family recover? Add to that the Bog Noblins infesting the Village Drowning and the evil Slinister and it may be too much for Rye to handle on her own. Can she recruit others to help her? What about the rest of the reclusive Luck Uglies?

Woe is me - I did not realize this was to be the last in the series until I got to the end of this book! I am sad. I adore this series and these characters and I would have happily read several more volumes of their adventures. However, there is something to be said about trilogies (three does seem to be a magic number), so perhaps I shouldn't complain too much.

As in previous books, the strength lies in both the characters and the worldbuilding. Rye is the same as ever and it's just as frustrating and charming as in previous volumes. Quinn and Folly don't show up until a bit later this time around, so the story I kept waiting on with Quinn never materializes. (How lovely it would be for Durham to start a new series focusing on Quinn or Folly's story instead! - wishful thinking!). I loved that characters from previous books appeared again, particularly the Link Rats. It brings the whole thing full circle. The world that Durham has created seems full of possibilities for more stories - I feel like he's only scratched the surface with these three volumes and I absolutely love that.

Unlike book two, I think this one works best if you've read the other books in the series. The full impact of many plot points won't be felt if you read this by itself. I love the series, so obviously I think you should read them all anyway, but it's always good to note if you can jump around in a series.

It's also important to note that, as in previous volumes, Durham is not afraid to go dark places in this one. There is quite a lot that could be sad or frightening, so bear in mind when recommending.

Overall, I adore this series and I'm sad to see it come to a close. Definitely recommended for fantasy readers!

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.

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