(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Eighteen-year-old Serena now reigns as queen of both the Undine of The Deep and the wolves of The Dry. The alliance between her maidens and the werewolves is shaky when all at once the basic necessities of food and shelter are taken away and both their worlds fall apart. After decades of war, the two societies must work together if they want to survive what lies ahead. A promised land is theirs for the taking, but first, they must survive each other.
[Full disclosure: I requested and received an ebook copy of the whole trilogy on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
The Taking picks up almost exactly where the second book, The Betrayed ends: with Serena deciding to move her entire civilization to a more hospitable environment. And since she’s now officially Queen of the Werewolves after Alaric’s death and the werewolves are back on the side of the Undine, that means they’re moving too. Moving two species who have been at war for almost two decades isn’t exactly going to be easy and Serena has no illusions. But ever since the werewolves were given an eviction notice from the protected park land, they really have no choice but to move with the Undine to a place where no one in the government will take notice of them or otherwise bother them. Lo and behold, they find a place up in the Arctic where it isn’t as polluted! But how does one get from around Vancouver Island to the Arctic on ships without having to land and go through customs?
The answer is to join up with the annual boat race, but that puts the move on an extremely tight schedule. Serena and the Undine must pack up the remnants of their civilization, transform into human form and keep that human form for almost three weeks. As we saw in previous books, the Undine tend to dry out when out of water for more than a day and it gets extremely painful after that. Not only that, the werewolves will have to learn to work with their former enemies and tensions are still high after Alaric’s death. Hmm…put two different species who have hated each other for two decades together on a cramped space for three weeks and see what happens. But as Serena makes clear to everyone, they have absolutely no choice. Still, some Undine choose to stay behind because they’re old and set in their ways. The move will decrease the pressure on the ecosystem because fewer Undine will be eating the sea life but the acidity of the ocean will eventually kill anyone who stays behind. Still, as Kai and Liam tell Serena, it’s not her decision.
Serena is now a mature young woman. She’s still struggling with being Queen at the age of only 18 but she’s really coming into her own. Now that she has political clout she’s finally free to ditch Murphy and mate with Kai, who is patient with her and doesn’t want her to do anything she isn’t comfortable with. Murphy takes the whole thing in stride because it means he can be with who he truly wants to without pretending to love a much younger woman. Amidst the uprooting of almost their entire kingdom, most of Serena’s subjects can’t be bothered and Serena has the confidence to do what she thinks is right. Still, things aren’t going to be easy sailing both literally and metaphorically because of the aforementioned former enemies being forced to live in cramped quarters together for almost a month. There are lots of bumps on the road to a new start.
The plot is of course interesting because by this point I was very invested in the characters. It was also quite a bit more fast-paced than the previous two books because of the time-crunch nature of the Undine/werewolf move. At the same time, the ending almost felt a little too rushed. It was exciting and thrilling but I really missed out on the little details of how everyone was going to survive and adjust up in the Arctic. The journey to their Arctic haven in the end was very rushed. I wish Terra Harmony had slowed things down just a little bit; enough to maintain the excitement without sacrificing her descriptive writing.
Still, The Taking was an enjoyable conclusion to what has been a good trilogy. If you haven’t started the trilogy I’d definitely recommend downloading the first book for free and giving it a try. And if you’ve stuck with the trilogy thus far you’ll enjoy the ending. I know I did.
I give this book 4/5 stars.