Pages: 210 pages
Source: In exchange for an honest review, an ebook was provided by the author for free.
Opening Line: "Andy flattened a royal-blue-uniformed soldier as he touched down in Castle Ferrin's courtyard, "Sorry!" he yelled."
Synopsis- Good vs Evil. Destiny Demands the Battle be Fought. But at What Cost? It's clear Abaddon, the evil shape-shifting ruler of Hadession, Oomaldee's northern neighbor, must be dealt with if Oomaldee’s citizens are to ever live in peace. But how? What lengths will Andy have to go to in order to wage war against a being whose power stems from evil itself? Will Abaddon plunge the land into darkness or will light triumph?
For those of you who may not be familiar with the Andy Smithson series, L.R.W. started this series in 2013 with Blast of the Dragon's Fury. The story centers on an ancient curse that was enacted by one of Andy's relatives which he becomes tasked with trying to break. Andy goes on many quests to locate the items needed to break the curse across the first few books in the series, all the while knowing that once he breaks the curse, he will lose the people he cares about the most. There is also an evil shape-shifting ruler who transforms the citizens into these flying creatures, with lots of sword fights and adventures. Not to mention dragons, beasts, and other dangers.
Battle for the Land's Soul begins approximately two weeks since the curse keeping the three closest people to Andy immortal was broken. Andy is dealing with the void following the loss of his parents and Mermin. As the new ruler, Andy is more determined than ever to defeat Abaddon and restore peace to his kingdom. Yet, before he is able to go into battle with Abaddon, he must first restore the troika's power in Carta. Abaddon will however not go peacefully and Andy will face one of his most difficult challenges yet. Pretty much everything that you would expect to have in an epic conclusion to a series.
I've had the pleasure of reading all seven of L.R.W. Lee's books in the Andy Smithson series and am always inspired by her creativity. Each story has included valuable "life lessons" (from diligence to taking responsibility for one's actions) and there are also these wonderful layers of symbolism. With the main emphasis of Battle for the Land's Soul being perseverance and the restoration of happiness and peace. When I first started the series, I would've put the age range around middle-grade, but now the series would be more geared toward young adults. Much in the way that the J.K. Rowling aged her characters in Harry Potter series, Andy's story has also taken on some darker tones. I've thoroughly enjoyed watching Andy grow across the series. There's definitely been battle scenes and peril for our main characters, but it's also been presented in a very age appropriate way. It's these gripping and tense moments when Andy is in danger that really have made me appreciate his character that much more. He's grown up a lot across each book in the series and is put through so many trials to become the leader that his people needed. He's experienced so much loss, but he never seems to give up. Andy Smithson will appeal to those who love fantasy, adventure, plenty of action and in many ways reminds me of the things that I've enjoyed about Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series. While I'm still sad that this was the last book in the series, I'm excited to read the young adult book that Lee is working on next.
"We're all starting again, Andy reminded himself despite the subdued mood of the group. I guess that's what life is...a bunch of new starts.
"You're waxing rather philosophical, but I believe you're right." MiniMe interrupted Andy's musings. "New starts are a gift."