Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For the final time, back to Malta...sorry, Adria. (No, seriously, you can't tell me Adria isn't an alternate Malta, not when the capital is a walled city named Valancia and it's been fought over by so many world powers over the years.)
I'll admit, this book started on a bit of a sour note for me because the first fifty pages or so were quite jumbled and chaotic and I was worried that perhaps Carter had taken the series a little too far from its roots. But eventually, the story reaches something of an even keel again, taking the reader on one more wild and twisted adventure across the world and through explorations of Adria's secret royal history. More than ever, this book takes the series into low-fantasy realms, feeling like an odd mashup of Indiana Jones and The Princess Diaries at times. But it works, and works pretty well.
About the only thing that keeps this one from being five stars for me is that beginning. And also the fact that, as usual, my ship doesn't sail in the end. But for this conclusion to the trilogy, Carter delivers some pretty top-notch intrigue and action.
To Embassy Row, I now say ave atque vale...or whatever the Adrian translation of that phrase may be.
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