We have reached the final volume in the under appreciated Shadows of the Apt series. If you have been following my reviews from the beginning you will already know how special this series is to me and one of the primary reasons for starting my blog just over a year ago. This series has withstood the test of time and I would put it up against any big time Epic fantasy series on the market today. The ending is both shocking and poetic in how it brings all the story lines to a gratifying conclusion. What more can I say but lets get into it. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be talking about events in the previous novels.
Empress Seda has broken the Seal of the Worm and the ancient evil has been unleashed on the world once again. Secluded to her palace, Seda is dealing with uprisings across the empire while dealing with the long forgotten centipede kinden rising up through the earth. Seda realizes that she has made a terrible mistake and will need to find a solution fast. Her choices will be bloody and unforgiving. Che, Thalric, Tynisa, and Eskmail have been transferred to the world below following Seda’s actions. Here they are on the run from the worm as its influence and reach are vast. Long forgotten people still reside here and are used as tools and sacrifices to feed the worms hunger. Che realizes that the worm must be destroyed before it can reach the surface and she may need the help of her mortal enemy to accomplish this feat.
Collegium has been taken by the Empire, but a resistance has been started to take back the city. Taki and her soldiers must move swiftly since Stenwold Maker has disappeared into the sea. All the while Totho is being hunted by the empire for his involvement in creating the Bee Killer toxin and the empire wants this resource. When Totho discovers the fate of Che, he will do his duty to find her even if it is for the wrong reasons.
At this point you are probably aware that Adrian can be viscous to his characters and Seal of the Worm is no different. Not every character will have the conclusion you will be hoping for and some of the moments will be crushing. With all of that being said, I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding conclusion for our beloved characters. Seal of the Worm also does a deep dive into the vast history of this world and the kinden over that time frame. Past events will come full circle and the cycle needs to be broken in order to ensure a better tomorrow, but this will cause turmoil and pain.
To sum this long winded review up, Shadows of the Apt sticks the landing big time. With this being my first of many rereads for the series, it remains cemented in my Top 5 all time series and that will never change. Readers and bloggers are now starting to flock towards this series and that brings much joy to my heart. If you are an audiobook fan, Ben Allen should be given an award for his performance and I look forward to his future works as a narrator. The fantasy world is a better place with this series in it, all you have to do is open up the first page and experience the wonder.