Hodder, out now
Magic must fall.
Arcadia is the third and final volume of James Treadwell’s Advent trilogy, and it doesn’t disappoint.
All the men have died, taken by Them when they venture too near the sea. As far as he knows, Rory is the only boy left anywhere – and his mother is determined to stop him being next. When three strangers come to the island in search of a magical ring, Rory is the only one who knows they’re there – and finds himself accompanying them to the Mainland by accident.
It’s a desperate place now. A year and a half after the events of Anarchy, men stay resolutely inland, out of sight of the water and the fatal temptation that lies in its depths. Society has broken down and people survive in small groups, fortified against the Pack – a gang of men armed with dogs that loot, steal and murder their way through the country. Chaos rules, and Rory must stick with his companions to stay alive. As their journey progresses, Rory realises that all is not as they would have him believe, and as they encounter others along the way – struggling to survive in their own way – the die is cast. Their journey takes them back to the beginning, to where everything started, and Rory finds he has a difficult choice ahead of him.
To say more would be to give away far too much of the novel. Once again, the author has skilfully woven various mythologies together into an enthralling tale of magic, friendship and the true meaning of power and what it is to be a god.
Verdict: A stunning conclusion to an enthralling fantasy series. 9/10