Okay, I’m going to be pedestrian and simply say I loved this series. It was such a fun, different and unexpected little gem despite the bugs I pick with it on occasion and which make me question my ratings. I had to start putting my thoughts to paper right after I finished it, which doesn’t happen often because I’m usually so eager to move on to the next potential big read and save the review for later. Instead I wanted to relish my last few minutes before that reflecting on all the good times I had with Miach and Morgan. And that’s a sure sign of a good read.
In the last installment of the Nine Kingdoms trilogy, Morgan and Miach find themselves in a tight, yet familiar, spot. They are attempting to enter the solar of Droch, the master of the ancient and evil magic of Olc. But first they have to successfully hide their essences, cap their magic, and cover themselves with a veil of unnoticing so they may sneak into the wizard keep of Buidseachd undetected. Just maybe then they will find the spell they need to close Gair’s well for good. It won’t be that easy, however, and before they have every piece to the puzzle, Miach and Morgan will merely have time to make a brief visit to her old home Ceangail before they run into nemesis Lothar himself at the well. But closing the well is not the end and after a stop at desolate Riamh surprising twists of fate are revealed and Miach and Morgan’s future is thrown into question once again. When and how will their turn for peace finally come?
What first comes to mind when I try to give words to how I felt about this final book to the Nine Kingdoms series is “charming” (which I’m tempted to repeat three times) and “sweet.” I had the kind-you-want warm fuzzy feelings upon finishing it. That’s not to say it was perfect, however much I loved the ending. Miach and Morgan’s stays in both Buidseachd and Ceangail felt over-long and their angst for facing the evil well and defeating Lothar seemed overdone in parts. I also wish Lothar had been more developed. When they finally get to the well – surprisingly – it felt too soon and too quickly resolved considering how major a plot point it’s been throughout the series. So there were some pacing problems.
That said I REALLY liked how this setup the final plot twist and unexpected turn-of-events for Miach, Morgan, and Neroche – something I never would have seen coming. There was more darkness than expected and along with it more suffering and responsibility. Nevertheless that made Miach and Morgan’s happily ever after all the more rewarding when so hard-earned. Princess in the Sword also reunites characters from the first and second books for the final showdown between Lothar’s evil minions and Neroche’s magically talented and sword-proficient twosome Miach and Morgan, which makes for plenty of needed action and grinning moments for the reader. In the end Morgan – after all her denial and reluctant acceptance – did become Princess Mhorghain (and more) while still remaining Morgan of Melksham just as Miach is both a common mage and Prince Mochriadhemiach, a royal leader. Through this process both manage to become if possible even more endearing – Morgan in her tomboy grounded ways and Miach with his mostly failed attempts at chilvalry and courtship. I LOVE these characters. They and their romance is ultimately what this series was about and in that respect this was an utterly satisfying end to the trilogy.