I will do my level best to avoid spoilers for book four, but there will be some unavoidable spoilers from previous books. You can find my reviews for the previous books here: The Ventifact Colossus, The Crosser’s Maze, and The Greatwood Portal .
I love this series! The Heroes of Spira continues to keep me invested and the stakes continue to be raised in each new installment. What sets this book-and indeed the series-apart from many of the newer fantasies is its constant glimmer of hope. Things are very dire in The Infinite Tower (an entire world has essentially been erased, after all) but the heroes never stop trying. They never shrug and say, “So long, better luck next time.” They keep on going. And as they do, their pluckiness takes an already-creative and interesting storyline and elevates it to a truly engrossing story.
The Infinite Tower is what I like to call a “travel fantasy”. The characters have goals to reach and places they must explore (infiltrate?) to reach those goals. Each book in the series has opened up the world more and more, and at this point the scope of world building is truly astonishing. The Infinite Tower develops whole new worlds, for lack of a better term. The reader is treated to new puzzles to solve (the reason for the Stillness kept me guessing), and new creatures make appearances. Ivellios continues his brilliant name-giving as well, adding a touch of humor in just the right spot.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the characters, which have become very dear to me. They have grown by leaps and bounds throughout the books, and The Infinite Tower is no different. They learn about different sorts of bravery: the bravery of allowing grief; the bravery of keeping faith, even when it’s hard; the bravery of putting one foot in front of the other, despite knowing the outcome might not be what one wants. The characters are all so easy to understand because they are all supremely human (even Dranko). They have relatable flaws, hopes and dreams. Each character is given the attention they need to develop and no one is left by the wayside. I found Aravia particularly fascinating and I really felt for her, though Ernie continues to be a favorite.
This series has an added bit of excitement for me: it is my oldest child’s gateway to adult fantasy. We’ve really enjoyed reading the books and discussing them together. I see an exciting fantasy-reading future for him and it makes me so happy! And this is another place where this series stands apart: it is absolutely an adult series, while being hopeful enough that my teen can read them without ending up with nightmares. I am so happy to see that books like these are gracing shelves.
The excitement continues and we meet new characters along the way. This isn’t the Horn’s Company of The Ventifact Colossus. Rather, the characters change as the plot continues. I’ve loved reading these books and I am looking forward to the upcoming (and final) installment, while at the same time being a little sad that this series will be coming to a close. And that is the mark of a good book.
Read this series for an escape into a fantastic new world, peopled with some of the best characters you’ll ever read.