Path of Beasts (The Keepers, #3) - Lian Tanner 3.5 stars. We return to the adventures of Goldie and Toadspit in this final installment of the series, which picks up right where we left them in City of Lies. The children return to Jewel after their harrowing escape from the kidnappers in Spoke to find that their enemy the Fugleman has taken over the city with his Blessed Guardians and an army of mercenaries.

It's showdown time now, and the Keepers will have to devise a plan to protect the Museum of Dunt and the people of Jewel. The Fugleman, however, has brought in a giant cannon, and is bent on taking over the city and destroying everything Goldie holds dear. To make things worse, Goldie had not escaped from Spoke entirely unscathed; after the effects of "The Big Lie", she holds in her head the personality and thoughts of a long-dead warrior princess. Day by day, Princess Frisia's presence grows stronger, threatening to take over Goldie's life.

And so, my journey with the Keepers Trilogy draws to a close, and with it, probably my last opportunity to enjoy Claudia Black's wonderful narrating work for a while. Looks like she's got a handful of other audiobooks under her belt, but I also hope she'll do more in the future; with her voice and talent, I think she would be perfect for urban fantasy.

As for the book itself, it hurts me a little to say this, but I wasn't as happy with it as I'd expected. It wasn't that the story was bad or that it didn't provide us with a satisfying ending to the trilogy. I just find myself viewing this book with an almost frustrating ambivalence, because I even now I'm trying to think of something--anything, good or bad, it doesn't matter--to say about this book and I'm struggling.

It almost makes no sense for me to feel this way; after all, the story was great -- the heroes overcome their trials and tribulations, honor prevails, everyone comes together in the end to save the city, and the bad guy is defeated while the good triumph, all that good stuff. It's a children's series after all, you know you'll get a happy ending and nothing's gonna come out of left field at you.

And maybe that's what it is. Not that I have an issue with books for youngsters having happy endings, but the fact I pretty much knew everything was going to work out in the end. Which is perfectly fine; like I said, it's how things should be, but I personally prefer more a little more uncertainty in my plot lines which is likely the main reason why I don't usually pick up books targeted for middle-grade.

But on the whole, these have been really great books. I probably enjoyed them even more because I listened to them all on audio, but I certainly don't regret my time with this trilogy one bit.

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