The Poison Song by Jen Williams
Headline, p/b, £9.99
Review by Laura Castells Navarro
This is the third (and sadly last) book of the Winnowing Flame trilogy. If in The Bitter Twins Williams explored the nature of connections in the different groups, in The Poison Song, all the scattered threads are brought together for a phenomenal finale for this truly epic fantasy story.
Noon and Vostok embark on a revenge trip against the Winnowry, and a trickle of fell-witches start arriving at Ebora, which, as the destruction of Sarn continues, has become the refuge for all its peoples. But in a sudden turn of events, Noon is kidnapped by She Who Laughs. The consequences of this interaction will reverberate until the end of the book as her past catches up with her and pushes her forwards. Vintage and Agent Chenlo embark on their own journey to recover the war-beast stolen by Tyranny. Tor has no other option than to face the consequences of his own life choices, and Bern and Aldasair have no other option than to continue their own personal battle that started when the Jure’lia queen embedded the crystal on Bern’s hand.
Meanwhile, the Jure’lia queen is still obsessed with understanding what Bern did to her crystals and how the connections at the other camp are created. And Hestillion has finally chosen her path, dismissing old connections and forging new ones, and throws herself at this new role by taking control of a section of the Jure’lia.
As with the previous books, the almost constant change in the point of view allows for the reader to get to know their individual histories, their desires and fears, strengths and weaknesses. In this last book, I felt that this approach really helped to understand the individual choices and sacrifices. There are loads going on in Williams’s colourful books but, in her skilled hands, you will not get lost in the action-packed and emotional rollercoaster that is The Poison Song (and the entire trilogy, really). Expect to be immersed in a gorgeously diverse world, thrilled by even more epic battles, touched by the quiet, intimate moments, and affected by the internal musings of every single one of the main characters in this fantastically paced and balanced ending of The Winnowing Flame Trilogy.
As for me, I’m mourning the end of this trilogy. Having finished it not 24 hours ago, it’s too soon to start anything else right now. So I’m just going to sit in here and, as I bask in this new bright sun, I’ll think about Noon, Tor, Vintage, Aldasair, Bern and Eri and about the unique experience that getting to know them has been.