Let me start this review by saying I hated how this book ended. I like books that wrap up the ending and for me, the conclusion to this series was anything but. Then again, perhaps it did wrap up the series as best it could given the flat characters that existed throughout the series. In A Painted Goddess, the final book in the A Fire Beneath the Skin series, by Victor Gischler, we see a pulse pounding finish to the story.
All of our main characters are scattered. My favorite plot is the journey of Talbun and Braisley to the Great Library. I feel like a whole book alone could have been spent exploring that library and I would not have been disappointed. I was sad that we only spent but a few short pages inside. In other parts of the kingdom, all out war has come as the dreaded Perranese attack arrives. I think another major downfall of this series was the lack of attention given to the Perranese. From a first book that focuses on their might and cunning, to the third and final book, they have really had no part in most of the Fire Beneath the Skin series. If I could make any other suggestion to this author aside from the others, it would be to bring in more about the enemy culture, to give us an enemy we can believe in to help drive the story, rather than the specter of something that may never be realized.
All in all, I wanted to like this series, and the story did have good elements, especially the Great Library, but those elements were too fleeting and not enough information was explained. If this book could be redone and find a way to focus on characters and weaving the story a little bit better I would be happy to re-read, because I do believe that the author worked hard writing this, even if it did not deliver the exact impact he had hoped.
I received this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.