Review + Guest Post: A Matter of Forever (#4, Fate) by Heather Lyons

My Thoughts

Gut wrenching. Action packed. Emotionally turbulent.
An epic conclusion to a series I have loved dearly.

5stars

Synopsis

a matter of foreverChloe Lilywhite has struggled for years to find her footing in a series of dangerous and demanding worlds. Creator, first tier Council member, and one of the most powerful Magicals in existence, she was little more than one of Fate’s pawns. But now, Chloe is back home and ready to call the shots. She knows what she wants and who she wants to be.

Except the Elders never got the memo.

Annar and Magical-kind are under attack. The lives of Chloe’s loved ones, and life as they know it, are at stake. Chloe’s the key to taking the Elders down, but they won’t go quietly into the night.

This time, neither will Chloe.

My Review

I have loved these characters. I have cried for these characters. I have been confused. Tormented. Uncertain. My heart has been shattered. I have been on one team and then the other. To have Chloe’s story come to a conclusion is tremendously bitter sweet. More accurately, however, emotionally turbulent. I don’t know how to feel, despite knowing from the beginning that the end would hurt. And hurt it did.

There were so many things that were right on. The characters are so well developed that as their arc came full circle, I mused that the natural progression of things was well paced. Chloe’s growth is evident in this book. She’s stronger. More determined. Focused. It’s up to her to fix things once and for all, and this time, the battle rages with severe losses that left my mouth agape, as terror mixed with incredulity at how this final chapter in Chloe’s story twisted and turned before the road straightened out into an unexpected future.

“Are you ready?”  It’s a question I’ve been asked so many times in my life, for so many different reasons. Was I ready to Ascend? Be on the Council? Fight the Elders? Accept my Fate? Forge forward on my own path?”

There’s no going back. The Council is in an undeniable uproar. Chloe nearly died.  Annar is in a frenzy. The Metis are in danger. Something must be done and the only one that can make things right is Chloe. Despite both Jonah and Kellan at her side, ready to die for her, love her, support her… it is she that must harness the strength within herself to figure out the insidious motives behind the chaos and forge forwards with a plan to bring it all to an end. But this time, her opponent wields great power. The power to enable and disable. The power to create and destroy. Permanently.

“I am the Alpha. The Omega. The beginning. Beauty, and life, and death all at once. If you think your little parlor tricks can dispatch me so easily, I beg you to reconsider.”

With stakes at an all-time high and an evil-doer equal parts horrific and conniving, the weight of the world rests heavily on Chloe’s shoulders. She’s been through so much already both emotionally and physically. And now, with not only her life at stake, and the lives of Metis and Magicals alike, she must also protect the lives of both of her connections, because the furor around her continues to intensify with each passing second.

“I need to take him out. I need to do it soon. I keep failing. There are people dying and I am the only one who can take him out.”

One weight, however, that no longer burdens her is the choice that fate cornered her to make. Last we saw in a Matter of Truth, she chose between Kellan and Jonah, and although the relief and rightness of the choice is there, she must also endure the reality of living with the love of her life, while the other brother watches, his heart shattering. Nonetheless, she feels she made the right decision. One that was rooted in love.

“… what I feel about this man is more than just love. It is forever.”

But unfortunately, someone must pay the consequence of her forever…

“I just wish my happiness didn’t come at the cost of somebody I love so very desperately.”

This book is filled with action and surprise, heartbreak and emotional turmoil. There’s no denying that despite the danger that must be resolved, the real impact comes from the relationships that bind.  This has been one of the most emotionally tolling series I’ve ever read. I’ve truly internalized the dynamic of this tumultuous three-way relationship. And it’s not just Chloe and Jonah or Chloe and Kellan, it’s also Jonah and Kellan.  Some of the most poignant moments in the book happen between them and frankly, those were the moments were I couldn’t help but cry, reading blurry eyed, heart-in-hand, breathless.

“Letting go is a hard, hard thing. Some days, it seems impossible. Stubbornness sets in, heels dig firmly into the dirt below us, and fingers refuse to uncurl from something so precious to one’s heart even if by a centimeter.”

Fans of the series know this won’t end with rainbows and butterflies. How could it? And I would be lying if I didn’t say I was shattered. Torn to pieces. Shocked to silent… at the very end. It hurt. Big time. But I was also left with a sense of hope… a soft glimmer that maybe someday the pieces would all fall into place in the way I wished. There’s also happiness amidst the sadness, a rightness amidst the wrongness. This has certainly been the kind of series where I more than experienced the story and the characters. I became a staunch defender of some of these people. Internalizing the characters emotions. Feeling as if they were as real, as real can be. And so I applaud the talented Heather Lyons for making me feel so boldly in every way. I’m still processing how I feel about the end, but gosh, few books have had me obsessing so much about the journey their character’s traversed, and the path they finally found themselves on. Grab a big box of Kleenex and enjoy the conclusion of Chloe’s story.

addseriestogoodreads

Guest Post from Heather Lyons

Coming to the end of a series . . .

The moment I wrote the final word of A Matter of Forever, the last book of Chloe’s arc in the Fate series, I cried. I’d just worked fourteen hours striving to get the story out and my hair was a mess, my hands were shaking, I hadn’t been eating and sleeping even less, and it felt like my brain was sliding out of my head through my ears. I put my laptop to sleep and all these tears found their way out of me—and even now, I don’t know if it was because I was fried or if it was because it was so emotional putting an end to characters who have been living in my head and talking to me for years now.

Here’s a secret—at least one for me: writing the end of a series is tough. Readers and fans who have been with a series since its beginning often hold expectations tempered with fear and hope, especially in a series that has revolved around a love triangle. I’m often asked . . . Who ends up with whom? How does life go for the person not picked? Will there be happy endings for all or for some? Do people die? And while I certainly want to give readers a rich, satisfying conclusion to characters they hold close to their heart, I also needed to stay true to my characters and the story I’ve been telling. So, I guess it’s safe to admit that happy endings are subjective—but I truly feel that everyone in the Fate series ends up exactly where they need to be in the end.

That’s not to say that I didn’t struggle with writing this book, though. I cried during the writing of it. I mean, like a lot. I did a lot of mean things to my characters—necessary, but hard to put out there anyway. I shied away from getting the tough stuff down until absolutely necessary. And while I was satisfied and resolute with how it all ended, I still wondered what readers would think—would they understand why what happens, happens? But ultimately, I had to set those questions to the side and remind myself that readers have trusted me to tell the best story I could, and the ending that’s here is that.

Is it a HEA? Well, like I said, that’s subjective. There is no black and white in this book—but you all knew that, going into a love triangle with Connections to twin brothers. There are many, many shades of gray that blur the lines between happy endings and life . . . because life is messy, too, and it’s hard and choices aren’t always the easiest to make even when you know they’re the best ones to embrace. Chloe Lilywhite, the heroine of the series, has always been faced with impossible decisions . . . and finding her forever in A Matter of Forever is no different. She, Kellan, and Jonah have all walked a long, hard road, but I think (hope? yes, hope) in the end, readers will take in those last words that left me a frazzled, exhausted, satisfied mess and pull in a deep breath . . . and just smile (even if just a little) because they know that the people they’ve just read about are right where they ought to be, moving forward in those blurred shades that represent life.

Reading Order and Purchase Links

Please click on the covers below to purchase from Amazon U.S.

a matter of fate cover Beyond Fate_Cover a matter of heart covera matter of truth cover a matter of forever  

About Heather Lyons

HEATHERHeather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

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Comments

  1. I suck it up and do it. I can’t wait to read this series. I loved the one book of Heather Lyons that I’ve read.

    side note: the picture links are not working

  2. I have had very few big choices to make if my life, but the biggest was just over 30 years ago and I’m still married to him!! I’m so easy about things that I usually let my husband make the choices. Very rarely am I so st on something that I see it no other way.

  3. LesleyG says:

    The first thing I usually do is cry! Sounds crazy but true.

  4. Anita Yancey says:

    I usually talk it over with another person that I trust, and between the two of us we can make the decisions.

  5. Over years I have had to made some big choices and what I did was make a list of pros and cons. From there I would throw it around in my head for awhile then make the choice. I don’t like to jump right on it because the choice I make will be something I have to live with. One major choice I’ve had to make was with my 91 yr. old mother. That one was easy but it was one that affected both her and my life. The other major choice was my own back 2005 and it took me a month to make that choice. I’m glad I did because of that choice I’m alive today.
    Thanks for the great review and the giveaway!
    Donna Harris

  6. Jennifer says:

    I will examine my options, talk to friends/family (whose opinions I trust), and try to get as much information as possible before making a decision. Then I just choose the one that seems the best option for me and/or the situation.

  7. That’s so tough!! I usually make a pro cons list, throw that away, and then go with my gut. It’s hard though.

  8. Kim Perry says:

    I usually make a list of pros and cons and talk it over with a trusted friend. Sometimes you have to decide based on what decision you can live with.

  9. carolsavoy says:

    Well, I make my husband make the choices, therefore it’s his fault when its the wrong choice. LOL he can take it.

  10. I usually just go with my gut if it’s too hard for me I may talk to a few people to get their opinions to see if that also helps.

  11. Tracy Werner says:

    Go with my gut and have faith, when faced with a tough choice. Thanks for this chance to win.

  12. Mary Bilowus says:

    If its something really important I may ask a trusted person for their opinion. I usually go with my gut instinct though.

  13. bertie welck says:

    I always close my eyes a picture my Mom. Then I think about what she would tell me, I go with that. She always gave me sound advice. And then she would hug me and say ” Remember if it’s meant to be it will be”

  14. Kristy Petree says:

    I don’t rush important decisions. I like to take time to look at all the pros and cons. Then when I make the decision, I stick with it.

  15. I talk it over with my hubby and get his opinion. Thanks for the chance! 🙂

  16. Jenny Dauksa Schaber says:

    I try to pray or meditate for the really difficult ones. Discussing with trusted friends also helps.

  17. Just do it. Rip it off like a band aid

  18. I go with my gut choice and hope for the best.

  19. Scarlett Camaj says:

    I always follow my instincts and discuss it with close friends.

  20. Desiree Griggs says:

    I usually defer to my husband or my sister who is my best friend. I don’t handle pressure well, and I second guess myself constantly….

  21. Brandelyn Harris says:

    I absolutely LOVE this series! But…to answer the question I think you have to go with your gut and trust your instincts!

  22. Suzanne Edwards says:

    I ask Jesus for help and success to council me for insight for the correct path. If I realize I chose the incorrect way, I know it was a test for me to repair any damage made. I despise confrontation, so, if that is the path I must take, I try to defer first and then face it head on if there is no way around it!

  23. I try and make the best choice and move on Thank you for the giveaway.

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