I am a fan of Tamora Pierce and the Beka Cooper series was one of my favorites. Beka is a strong female character who remains true to and fights for what she believes in. She thrives in a career that has historically male connotations. Plainly, she is a tough lady. In the series finale, Beka remains true to form. Loyalty is a huge element in the books and Beka focuses on maintaining strong familial bonds and relationships with her friends - human, animal, and magical. Because Beka's relationships have been steadfast throughout the trilogy, I was extremely disappointed in this book. While I would recommend it to fans of the series (of course, you have to know how it ends!), it simply was not my favorite. Without being a spoiler... I was just left feeling unfulfilled. For me, the series closed in an unsatisfactory way. A note on content: the violence in the book is graphic and the suffering of the slaves excruciating, which may be upsetting to some readers. Beka is not quite so cavalier with her sexuality in this installment of the trilogy, but there are a few intimate scenes.