Into the Dying Light brings the Age of Darkness trilogy to a thrilling end

Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool. Image courtesy Macmillan Publishers
Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool. Image courtesy Macmillan Publishers /

Katy Rose Pool’s Age of Darkness trilogy has everything you could possibly want in a fantasy saga: A tale of faith, prophecy, love, death, and forgiveness, it features a half dozen lead characters each forced to make impossible choices and sacrifices in the face of what may or may not be the end of the world. Into the Dying Light brings all the story’s major players together for the first time in a finale that’s nonstop from start to finish – and if the trilogy’s final installment doesn’t always have time for the sort of in-depth character, well. At least it mostly sticks the landing.

After so many close calls and near-misses, is it a bit unbelievable that more of the series’ main cast of characters aren’t casualties of their various adventures? Probably. Does it feel like the final installment pulls its punches a bit when it comes to their fates? Kind of. But just because I wanted the story to go darker than it ultimately did, doesn’t mean its ending isn’t a generally satisfying one.

That Pool is able to pull all these disparate story threads into anything like a cohesive whole is honestly remarkable, And though there are certainly nits that are worth picking – Hector’s ending doesn’t feel entirely earned to me; Jude and Anton’s inability to tell one another the truth about anything in the name of “protecting” each other is deeply annoying; and Ephyra’s insistence that her sister is the only person that matters (until she conveniently isn’t) is even more grating here than it was in the second novel.

But Into the Dying Light is a story whose whole is certainly more than the sum of its parts, and its twisty, fast-paced plot will keep you turning pages right up until the end. (I finished this book in a little over a day, if that tells you how eager I was to find out how things wrapped up.) The story doesn’t shy away from the dark consequences of its apocalyptic premise, and the dangerous death cult known as the Witnesses – as well as the ancient god that’s currently sealed in Beru’s body – are both more than willing to engage in serious harm in the name of reshaping the world to their liking. (And fair warning: There’s occasionally some dark stuff here – entire cities and their populations are essentially wiped out in the blink of an eye, characters are tortured for information, etc.)

The most enjoyable aspect of Into the Dying Light is, of course, getting to see all our faves interact with one another after all this time, as they’ve been brought together into one big group by a surprising third party. Their group dynamics aren’t entirely what you might expect – though I’m not sure why I didn’t guess immediately that Jude and Hassan would rub each other the wrong way -and they definitely seem to make as many poor decisions as a group s they each did individually. (Despite Anton literally possessing the power of foresight, it’s utterly remarkable how frequently he still gets things wrong.)

But it’s so lovely to see these stories all intersect at last that no matter how you feel about the specifics of the ending itself, you have to applaud Pool for the simple fact of getting them all together at last. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

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Into the Dying Light is available now. Let us know if you’re a fan of this trilogy!