Today seems like a day of endings. I'm feeling a bit melancholy, so I figured it would be a good time to review Destined by Aprilynne Pike. Yes, it is finally time to say good-bye to Laurel, Tamani, David and Chelsea and it makes me feel a bit blue to say goodbye to old, old friends. I held off reading this one for a while because I knew it would be the last, but I finally plucked it from my TBR pile and finished it within the week.
Book Description (From Amazon):
Release date: April 30, 2013 | Series: Wings
Destined delivers all the romance and action that fans expect as it brings Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series to a deeply satisfying conclusion.
Laurel used to think she was an ordinary girl from Crescent City, California. She never would have believed she was truly a faerie from a realm called Avalon.
Now Laurel must risk her life to save Avalon from destruction by Yuki—a rare and powerful Winter faerie—and troll-hunter Klea. But Laurel won’t have to fight alone; David and Tamani, two boys she loves in different ways, will be by her side, along with her best friend, Chelsea.
Readers of the Need and Graceling series will want to follow Laurel’s story from its beginning in Wings to its heart-stopping end in Destined.
The story opens to a very tense scene. Yuki is being held hostage and Tamani, Laurel, David, Chelsea and Shar are taking turns guarding her. Now that the know she is a winter faerie, they know how dangerous she is. They are expecting Klea to come for her. When she finally does, it's chaos and carnage.
Laurel's sole purpose of being sent to the human world was to guard the gate of Avalon, but Yuki has ripped that information from her mind and our stalwart heroes know it will not be long before the assault on Avalon begins. In the wake of Yuki's rescue, our friends race to get to Avalon to warn them of the imminent arrival of Lea with Yuki and any number of trolls.
They arrive in time to warn Avalon, but the Queen, foolish as she seems to be, heads back to the Palace her successor in tow and about 200 guards that will be essential in the defending of Avalon. In their arsenal, the young heroes have Jamison, another winter faerie. He takes them to the Palace where he relays the story of King Arthur and Excalibur. King Arthur, being a human, rose up and protected the court of Avalon with the mighty Excalibur, only it's not a myth and the sword is real and embedded in a stone. Jamison requests David take of the sword to defend Avalon once again.
With sword in hand, David becomes invincible, but he will be vulnerable if the sword falls from his hands. Leading the way, David with Tamani, Laurel and Chelsea head off to defend Avalon against the horde of trolls storming the gates.
While danger and the possibility of death has been central to every volume, none are more tense than this final volume. The stakes in the final battle are high with either side unwilling to give in. Laurel, Tamani and company fight to protect Avalon and the right to live another day, while Klea fights to right the wrongs perpetrated against her. Yuki fights for Klea with a misguided sense of loyalty. The battle does end, but at what cost?
Laurel also comes to understand who it is that holds her heart, finally at the end of all things. Where David and Tamani had been rivals for Laurel's attentions, now they become brothers in arms. Where Laurel and Chelsea are the best of friends, now she feels jealous of Chelsea's love of David. Laurel finally has to accept her own feelings for one as well as the hurt she must cause the other, but she must at last embrace one of the boys and let the other one go.
Within this final installment there is an overwhelming amount of sorrow and tragedy, but there is also love, joy and the celebration of life. It is never an easy thing to say goodbye to those we care about, but life moves on, and they remain, as they always were, locked in our hearts and minds.