Review….The Descent by Alma Katsu

The Descent COVER

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The final installment in the “mesmerizing” (Booklist, starred review) and addictive trilogy—find out who truly holds the key to Lanny’s heart and whether she’ll ever be reunited with her beloved in this gripping supernatural tale of magic, lust, and longing.

Lanore McIlvrae has been on the run from Adair for hundreds of years, dismayed by his mysterious powers and afraid of his temper. She betrayed Adair’s trust and imprisoned him behind a stone wall to save Jonathan, the love of her life. When Adair was freed 200 years later, she was sure that he would find her and make her existence a living hell. But things turned out far different than she’d imagined.

Four years later, Lanore has tracked Adair to his mystical island home, where he has been living in self-imposed exile, to ask for a favor. She wants Adair to send her to the hereafter so she may beg the Queen of the Underworld to release Jonathan, whom she has been keeping as her consort. Will Lanore honor her promise to Adair to return? Or is her intention to reunite with Jonathan at any cost?

Of all the forces of the universe, the most mysterious, confounding, and humbling is the power of love. The epic story of love and loss, magic and destiny that began with The Taker and sparked a chase around the world in The Reckoning comes to a surprising conclusion with The Descent.


My review:

The Descent is the final book in author Alma Katsu’s The Taker Trilogy.  After reading, and loving, the first two books I was beyond anxious to see how things would end for Lanny, Adair, Luke and Jonathan.  Well, the ending was far better and more awe-filled than I ever could have imagined.

After being curiously spared from Adair’s wrath over his imprisonment, Lanny had lived the last four years peacefully with Luke.  All was well until the nightmares began.  Nightmares of Jonathan being tortured in the underworld.  Lanny had been able to dismiss these for quite some time but now the dreams were more frequent and more violent.  Fearing these dreams were Jonathan calling her subconscious for help, she knew she had to do something about it.   Knowing full well there was only one person who could help her, she sets off to find that person.  Adair.  Her journey not only takes her to a secluded and remote island and to Adair’s home, but also to the underworld and to visits with many of the people and places that make up her past. The question remains, will she be able to find and help Jonathan before it’s too late or was this whole trip wasted effort?

I just finished this amazing book and I am still in awe over this series ending.  I have had mixed emotions since the very first book between Jonathan and Adair and who, if either, were the right choice for Lanny.  I was leaning heavily toward Adair but had a sneaking suspicion that he wasn’t to be trusted and that there were tricks hidden up his sleeve that would end up hurting Lanny.  On the flip side, I was tired of Jonathan and his inability to love Lanny the way she had been longing for since, well, forever.  Then there was Luke, the safe choice.  I wanted to like him much more than I did, but he was just too vanilla for Lanny.   More and more I kept pulling for Adair and I wanted so badly to believe he was honest in the astounding changes he’s made within himself.  Almost right up until the end, I wasn’t sure of who was right for Lanny.  My choice ended up being Adair.  But was it Lanny’s?  My lips are sealed.

Lanny’s journey into the underworld to rescue Jonathan was like a trip down memory lane and gave her a chance to revisit some of the characters we met earlier in the series.  Some were good visits, and some painful.  Peppered in between the chapters of her journey are snapshots of Adair’s earlier life and how he came to be the man he was today.  Magic, alchemy and the occult all playing a part in shaping him.  But one thing Ms. Katsu has done from the very beginning was subtly letting the reader know that nothing is what it seems…and oh boy, by the end of this story it was clear that what we had believed to be true was anything but.  The ending threw me and had me dumbstruck…but in the best kind of way!  Many secrets are revealed and puzzle pieces made to fit.

In a word? Brilliant.

This series is beautifully written with description that makes characters seem real and places seem tangible.  If you haven’t read the first two books, I do recommend reading them before this final installment for you to truly appreciate the web of relationships that has been spun from the very beginning.  Thank you, Ms. Katsu, for a trilogy that will stay with me for quite some time and for characters I have thoroughly enjoyed.

5LovesRLBFive Loves


About the author:

Alma Katsu’s debut, The Taker, has been compared to the early work of Anne Rice, Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander for combining the historical, supernatural and fantasy in one story. The novel was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association and rights have sold been in 16 languages. The Reckoning, the second book in the trilogy, was published in June 2012, and the third and final book, The Descent, will be published in January 2014. The Taker Trilogy is published by Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster and Century/Random House UK.

Ms. Katsu lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. In addition to her novels, Ms. Katsu has been a signature reviewer for Publishers Weekly and an occasional contributor to The Huffington Post. She is a graduate of the Master’s writing program at the Johns Hopkins University and received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, where she studied with John Irving. She also attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

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  1. Thank you for the lovely review and for keeping the secret So glad you enjoyed the ending!!!

    • My pleasure! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and for an amazing and perfect ending to a fabulous series! ~Jillian

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