As this is the 3rd & final installment in the Nightshade trilogy, there are spoilers for the first two books in this summary & review
Calla has always welcomed war.
But now that the final battle is upon her, there's more at stake than fighting. There's saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay's wrath. There's keeping Ansel safe, even if he's been branded a traitor. There's proving herself as the pack's alpha, facing unnameable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers' magic once and for all. And then there's deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.
We find Calla in what would have been her marital bedroom with Ren, who was supposed to be her mate/husband. After convincing him to join the resistance against the Keepers (by working with their longtime "enemies" the Searchers) the two former love-birds much face the fallout from his treachery. Naturally the person who has the hardest time dealing with Ren's involvement is Calla's other lover Shay. The Scion (as Shay is known) is the only one who can stop the Keepers & destroy their ability to control the Earth.
You would think with these two guys working on the same side they'd be able to put away their differences & back-burner their fight for Calla's heart. Not so much. The two alphas square off more than once & continue their altercations while they (and the rest of the pack) traipse all over the world collecting the pieces of the Elemental Cross.
Torn between her two lovers & her loyalty to defend her own alpha role, Calla must win this war at any cost. Unfortunately no one told her just how steep a price she was paying.
Well then. That was an interesting way to end the series. I had really high hopes for this book. With Nightshade and Wolfsbane having been such incredible books with a lush plot & heart-wrenching romance, I have to admit that I expected more from Bloodrose. Basically this book can be boiled down into a few sentences. Girl chases boy(s). Boy(s) chase girl. Appropriate humor inserted. Major conflict with no clear climax. Easy decision made for main characters.
Seriously. That's how it felt. We follow the pack all over the world collecting the pieces to the Elemental Cross so that Shay can defeat the Keepers. During their downtime Calla is sneaking around watching love bloom in several couples around her (all of them seem to be the same type of "I kind of always knew he was right for me & just didn't want to admit it" love) & getting her own nookie in. The cast of characters doesn't disappoint though. You still have the plethora of personalities that have to intermingle & manage to draw you in even when you feel like you're falling out of love. What was more surprising though was the depth that some of these characters contained. I was pleasantly surprised to see several drastic changes in certain characters' persona. I think I might have preferred just to read about them to avoid the triangle of annoyance that became Shay, Ren & Calla.
Instead of forcing these characters to work together & come to a painful, but ultimately necessary epiphany, the author decides to kill any chance of that happening. She lets her main trio take the easy way out of a very emotionally turbulent choice. Even worse though was the timing & manner of that choice. I just didn't see the flow. It was so jarring & discombobulated that I was thrown for several minutes expecting some magic to make things better again.
While I devoured the book hoping that the final battle would make up for a rather predictable build-up, I was ultimately disappointed. I still enjoyed the world the author built & the supporting characters she created, but the main love triangle & what should have been the climax of the story just fell flat for me. I'm still very glad I read it & still enjoy the first two books, this is not even remotely how I felt it should have ended.