I have been waiting for this book ever since I finished The Skull Throne. Peter set up for a great finale and all of my questions coming into the final book were answered. I enjoyed seeing each character’s arc come to an end and really like where Peter took everyone. That being said, there were a few things about The Core I didn’t like, but the good definitely outweighed the bad. We finally get a chance to enter into the depths of hell where the demons are coming from and get a new perspective of that of the demon king. The political intrigue from Miln, Angiers, and Hollow County all coming together under the duress of Sharak Ka really made the world feel small in that everyone needs to come together for the sake of humanity if they want to survive.
- Concept: 10/10 We finally get a look inside the core and it has a little bit of everything. I loved seeing things from Alagia Ka’s perspective. He looked down on humans in a way that we look down on ants or animals.
- Writing: 5/10 – Switching from perspective to perspective between Alagai Ka, Jardir, and Arlen for example made the reading pretty tiresome at times. Each person referred to the others as a different title that shuffled back and forth very quickly making it hard to follow at times. I had to reread certain parts to make sure I got what everyone was doing. Peter also seemed to cling to certain phrases such as “their honor is boundless.” I get that it may be part of the Krasian custom, but it doesn’t need to be said 5 times every minute.
- How long did it take to get into the book: 10/10 – I was really excited off the bat to get into this story as I’ve worked through the previous four books to get here. It had been a while since I had read The Skull Throne, so I wasn’t 100% sure who all the characters were, but I caught on pretty quickly.
- Character Development: 7/10 – By this part of the series, the characters are pretty set into who they are. Arlen for example isn’t some little kid that’s running away from home, but there’s also some growth between him and Jardir while they are in the core. It was refreshing to see them switch perspectives on a handful of topics.
- Plot: 6/10 – I have some issues with some parts of the plot that I don’t want to spoil, so I’ll save them to the end, but it seemed that a good number of character arcs in this last book were completely meaningless. We could have just followed Arlen and Jardir the entire time and would have been just as well off.
- Pacing: 6/10 – As much as I wanted the closure from all of the different characters’ arcs, switching from Arlen and Jardir to political issues really put me off. They are exploring some really cool stuff in the core and then we go back to tea time.
- Ending: 6/10 – I really wish there had been another way other than dues ex machina. I get that things were pretty dire at the end, but for it all to be resolved so easily was a cheap way to finish the series.
- Cover Art:10/10 – Peter definitely did a great job with the different covers. I think I liked the warded cover from the ARC’s the best, but all of them were very cool.
- World Building: 10/10 – Exploring the core was my favorite part of the book. From each turn and discovery, I was just waiting for something crazy to happen and Peter didn’t disappoint.
- Would I read other books by the Author: 10/10 – Absolutely Yes! I love Peter’s books and his style of writing, putting the reader into each character’s perspectives leads to a great overall story.
Follow-up Questions (Definite Spoilers):
Why was Abban so important? I feel like Ashia and Briar’s arc was completely irrelevant. Once they freed him from Hasik, he didn’t do anything. If Hasik had killed Abban when he killed Jayan, there wouldn’t have been any difference to the overall impact of everything.
Do wards really mean anything and why do they need to be precise if it’s just faith that powers them? In the end, Arlen created new “queen” wards to kill everything and they were powered because he believed they would be? I’m sure all the farmers in Tibbett’s Brook believed their fire wards would keep them safe until they didn’t.
Who is Derrick? After some digging I found that he’s introduced in a novella, but why not give him a little back story in The Core so that people who didn’t know about the various novellas wouldn’t be left scratching their heads.
Where’s Alagai Ka? They kinda let him go and never mentioned him again.
Why couldn’t Arlen have come back from the Core. He had misted while on the journey when he was chasing Alagai Ka, but couldn’t mist in the Queen’s chamber because of the call of the core? I didn’t like Peter’s quick explanation that it was okay that time but not this time.
If Arlen was struggling to heal himself from the venom, why didn’t Renna or Jardir try to help heal him?
How did the warded children learn all the tricks of misting and skating so easily? It took Renna a long time, and what was with Arlen’s teaching. It seemed that everyone got really strong really quickly.
What was the point of Olive being a hermaphrodite? It didn’t really have any affect on the story.
What happened to Kendall? She was such a major character in the previous books, but was barely around for this book.