Rating: 5 stars
“Half Lost” by Sally Green is the very violent but also incredibly touching conclusion to the trilogy that began with “Half Bad” and continued with “Half Wild.” The books should be confusing with all the different characters and changes to characters who aren’t really who they seemed to be. But the basis of the story — that one isn’t defined by identification with any label (White Witch or Black Witch) — is a theme that is universal.
The White Witches are the “good” witches, and the Black Witches are the “evil” witches. Nathan, the main character, is a half-breed. His father was a very evil Black Witch, and his mother was a very powerful White Witch. In the first book, he lives in a cage and is tortured and beaten. He hates his captor, Celia, a White Witch. He yearns for the day he can kill her.
In the second book, Nathan is free from his cage, he has met his notorious — and very deadly — father, Marcus, and he has gotten the family knife, the Fairborn, back from the White Witch who had it. It’s a deadly knife that craves blood, and it was foretold that Nathan would use it to kill his father. The reader learns more about what horrible machinations Wallend — the master creator of powerful witch tools — is up to. He is pure evil and he experiments on imprisoned witches — both black and white.
In this last book, Nathan and the Alliance are fighting for equality among witches and to overthrow the Council of White Witches which seeks to kill all the Black Witches or outlaw them. Will Nathan become a killing machine like his father was or will he retain his humanity courtesy of his White Witch blood from his mother? What about Annalise, the White Witch he loved and Gabriel, the Black Witch he loves? Did Annalise betray him? What is his future with Gabriel?
Green keeps the action and the emotion strong throughout the book but at the end, she really shows her writing chops. The ending will leave even the most stoic reader with tears. It’s beautifully conceived and beautifully written and absolutely heartrending. In a beautiful way.
This is an easy trilogy to recommend to mature readers. To try not to have spoilers here — suffice to say that Nathan explores his relationship with Gabriel in this book as much as he explored his relationship with Annalise in the second book. Nathan’s relationship with Gabriel is lovely and comes about very naturally through their love for each other. But this is probably not a book for middle grade readers because of that content.
It’s a series with everything to offer — action, morality, romance, heartbreak, fabulous characters, a wonderful plot, and beautiful writing.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Viking for review purposes.