Rojan Dizon caused the city of Mahala to fall to its knees when he destroyed the pain factories that were supplying the city with energy. Even though it was done for all the right reasons, it had led to the city being under siege from two sides, with supplies running low and the population getting desperate. Rojan knows he has to put things right but, when it comes down to it, just how much is he willing to sacrifice to save his city and its people?
At the start of Francis Knight’s ‘Rojan Dizon’ series I wasn’t entirely convinced but by the time I started book 3, ‘Last To Rise’, I was completely hooked. It’s been a series that has really grown throughout, developing great characters and building an impressive and unusual city setting.
Rojan is the downtrodden guy who tries to let things slide but always ends up going back and doing what’s right and he’s the guy we can’t help but feel for as he struggles. He’s helped along by an interesting mix of people, from his technical genius of a sister, Lise, to the fiercely devoted and loyal Pasha who will do anything to protect his lover, Jake. Each of the side characters brings something unique to the mix and it’s really easy to feel like you’re part of this motley group of people fighting for their homes.
There’s a fair amount of action going on in this book, with war seeming imminent and the city under bombardment from its neighbours. The way it is all described is impressively detailed. I could feel the city shaking when the troops were at the gates. I could feel the anger of the mobs jostling each other to get hold of weapons and the desperation of the starving people crowding into church just to get a mouthful of watery stew. It was so vivid I could close my eyes and see everything in total clarity and that was fabulous.
No matter how good a book is, a bad ending can spoil everything so, as I came towards the end of ‘Last to Rise’, I was a little apprehensive about how it would all finish. This is the final book in the trilogy and I was really hoping for a good ending. I wasn’t disappointed. The ending, without giving away spoilers, was very fitting, quite emotional and felt absolutely right for this story.
I was a little sad to reach the end of this even while I was satisfied at the way it all turned out. The world Francis Knight has developed has been wonderful to visit and I do hope that we’ll see a return to Mahala at some point in the future as I think there’s plenty more to explore.
(pub: Orbit. 346 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-356-50168-0)