Saturday, August 3, 2013

ARC Review: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears by Kersten Hamilton

When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Publication: Clarion Books (August 6, 2013)

Description: Locked doors are opening, and magical creatures are tumbling through mysterious portals from Mag Mell, the world-between-worlds, into the streets of Chicago. Meanwhile, the romance between seventeen-year-old Teagan, who is part goblin, and the alluring bad boy Finn Mac Cumhaill is heating up . . . which is awkward, to say the least, considering he is bound by a family curse to fight goblins his entire life. Celtic mythology, adventure, and paranormal romance fuse in the electrifying finale of the critically acclaimed Goblin Wars trilogy.

My Thoughts: WHEN THE STARS THREW DOWN THEIR SPEARS was an amazing conclusion to an outstanding epic fantasy trilogy. It had it all: great danger, epic battles, humor, romance, and characters so real that you'd swear you knew them. 

I was a little concerned when I began this book because I had read the second late in 2011. I've read a lot of books since then. But by Chapter 2, I was back in the story and pulling for my favorite characters to survive and make the world right again. 

The characters in this story are so wonderful. Teagan Wylltson is smart, beautiful, serious and caring. She is a goblin who has chosen to be a healer. Her little brother Aiden is a bard and a typical six-year-old. Tea will do anything to protect him from the evil creatures that want to keep him from saving Mag Mell. Tea's boyfriend is Finn Mac Cumhaill who is this generation's goblin killer and who lived on the streets before being placed with Tea's family. Then there is Abby who is Tea's best friend, a mafia princess, and who adds a lot of humor to the story. 

The adults in this story are wonderful characters too. John Paul Wylltson is a librarian and bard and, although he is completely human, he knows the stories and the poems and the songs that his children need when dealing with the creatures and worlds that are real to them. Mamieo is a wise old woman who adopted Tea's mother and who has been a mentor to Finn. Zoë is Aiden's dance therapist and friend and seems completely at home in Mag Mell despite the fact that humans can't go there. 

A new character is introduced in this story. Seamus McGillahee appears first as a lawyer sent to get Tea out of jail after an incident at her high school. He is young, brash, and, as Mr. Wylltson says, as smart as he thinks he is. He also hates goblins and is in denial about his father's Irish Traveler heritage. He is one of the characters who changes greatly during this story. He moves from a smart guy with no real purpose in life to a man who has a destiny. 

There are many non-human characters too. Sprites like Lucy who hides in Aiden's hair, a Phooka named Gil, an angel named Raynor Schein, a tree named Joe, and all sorts of cat-sidhe. 

Like all epic fantasy, the characters are tested to the limits of their souls. There are heart-breaking losses and triumphs too. Shining through it all is love of all kinds - love of family, romantic love, love for all humanity. This book is made of awesome. 

I think this whole series is vastly underrated and under-publicized. But, don't take my word for it, visit your local library or bookstore and find Tyger, Tyger and In the Forests of the Night and see for yourself.
I don't think you will be disappointed. I can hardly wait until school begins again to share this trilogy with my students. I know that this whole series has been added to my keeper shelves and my Kindle. 

Favorite Quote:
"'re keeping...a song...for him?" Seamus asked. "I don't understand."

"I'm not surprised," Mr. Wylltson said. "I'm a dad. The job description boggles even me sometimes."

"Ah," Seamus said. "That's one subject I don't know much about."

"One of those things you learn by doing," Mr. Wylltson assured him. "All it takes is loving them more than you can imagine."
The author asked if I wanted to read this and had the publisher send me the Adobe Digital Editions eARC. You can buy your copy here.


  1. This sounds like a wonderful trilogy. Thank you.

  2. I'm eager to read this one! My copy arrived yesterday and I have the first two in the series checked out of the library--to reread the first one and read the second before delving into the third. Thanks for sharing your review.


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