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Review: Vardaesia by Lynette Noni

on February 18, 2019

Vardaesia (The Medoran Chronicles #5)
Lynette Noni
Pantera Press
2019, 499p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

“When Day and Night combine and fight against one Enemy,
then Dark and Light shall meet mid-strike and set the Captives free.”

In the wake of loss and devastation, Alex must cast aside her grief to seek aid from those who banished the Meyarins long ago. But the proud Tia Aurans care little for the woes of mortals and demand that Alex—and her friends—undergo the Gates of Testing to prove their world is worth saving.

With an ancient prophecy looming, Alex must confront the secrets of her past if she is to survive long enough to see the future. For if she returns to Medora without the Tia Aurans by her side, all hope will be lost.

In this explosive conclusion to The Medoran Chronicles, the fate of Medora hangs in the balance as Alex readies herself to face Aven one final time.

Who will survive, and who will fall?

“If, however, darkness wins, there is no strategy
to keep from all that will be lost, and so will always be.”

And so it is over. Or is it?

This is the final book in the Medoran Chronicles, a series that has to take the award for biggest surprise because when I read the first book I had no idea I’d end up so invested in this world. With every book, Lynette Noni upped the stakes, expanded on her world building and storytelling and in the end, brought me one of my favourite YA fantasy series, ever.

Alex faces a test to get the Tia Aurans to join her in her fight against Aven and his Claimed army. They decide that she must face six tests to prove her worthiness as an ally. Alex finds herself not only facing the tasks with Kaiden but also the trio of Jordan, Bear and D.C., who followed her through the Library and also Declan, who rounds the group up to 8. Alex has never been more conscious of the fact that if she fails to convince the Tia Aurans, the prophecy states she will fail.

I actually thought that most of this book would be the battle with Aven, but it isn’t. It’s all about the build, the final task that Alex and her friends must undergo in order to learn more about themselves, in order to try and convince the Tia Aurans to join them. The tasks are not easy. Each day Alex is faced with three gates and she must choose one and walk through. The gates have names which relate to the type of task she will face and they can sound innocuous but end up being far from it.

This book is, as the series has always been, about friendship. It’s about the core group of Alex, Jordan, Bear, D.C and the additions of Kaiden and Declan, sticking together, helping each other and being there for each other throughout the best and worst of times. All of them have experienced terrible things and they’ve had their moments. But they keep remembering what’s important, and that’s keeping that friendship together, staying united. It’s about the friends they make along the way as well, the unique way in which Alex forges alliances and pledges herself to people and keeps them by her side. She has to learn to let go of guilt she’s accumulated over some of the choices she’s made, some of the consequences of actions and also learn to have faith. She has to face her fears and realise she will have to face Aven…..and what happens after that, lies in her hands.

Despite the fact that this book is built around Alex and her friends undergoing a series of tests that could kill any and all of them at any moment and it’s all building towards a showdown with a madman who wants to destroy the entire world, this is still a book with so much hope in it. At times, the odds they face seem insurmountable. Every time they make a small bit of progress, something happens elsewhere that sets them back or increases the danger or the chance of failure. But they still keep going. They still keep making plans, looking for alternatives, ways around the obstacles. And the friendships grow and strengthen and remain unwavering, no matter what. We are reunited with some old friends from previous books (including one of my favourite characters, whose fate I had feared for) and we get some closure with some that fell along the way.

I was never really sure how this was going to play out. I mean, we all know what happens if Alex fails…..but as she has reiterated so many times along the way, “I am not a murderer”. So how was she going to be able to defeat Aven without killing him? He was never going to be the type who would yield and then just go oh well you bested me, I guess I’ll stop killing everyone now and torturing you. And for Alex to fail……didn’t bear thinking about. Alex failing means that everyone we know, this world as we have come to know it, is dead.

What we get is a perfectly contrasted finale which underscores just how much Alex had to learn and trust in herself and her abilities and all that she has undergone in order to do this task. In order to come out on top. It’s rare that a series gives you such a wonderful ending where you truly feel satisfied in that everything has been for something and that all you’ve read has contributed to the final moments. But Lynette Noni has managed that here and after my heart rate calmed down, I had to go back and reread that final section again, just to take it in properly and appreciate how it had played out.

I have enjoyed so much, the entire process of reading this series. I’ve been lucky, in that I only started it in late 2017 so my wait for books has been much shorter than others. The last page states that although this adventure is over now, we need to stay tuned for a return to Medora in the future…..and I cannot wait. I would love to revisit this world and hang out with all these characters again.

A phenomenal ending to a truly great series.


(Couldn’t help myself. I had to rate it 10 just because of the way it played out).

Book #31 of 2019

Vardaesia is the 13th book read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2019

2 responses to “Review: Vardaesia by Lynette Noni

  1. […] Vardaesia by Lynette Noni. I ended up loving this series so much! Each new book just built on the world and the story in such interesting ways and I really liked the characters. This finale was really well done and it was such a satisfying journey. My review. […]

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