Our Lady of the Streets – The Skyscraper Throne #3 – Tom Pollock
Four months ago, Mater Viae, the Goddess of London, returned from London-Under- Glass to reclaim her throne. And ever since then, London has been dying.
Streets are wracked by convulsions as muscles of wire and pipe go into spasm, bunching the city into a crippled new geography; pavements flare to thousand-degree fevers, incinerating anyone and anything touching them. Towers crash to the ground, their foundations decayed.
As the streets sicken, so does Beth, drawn ever deeper into the heart of the city, while Pen fights desperately for a way to save her. But when they discover that Mater Viae’s plans for dominion stretch far beyond London’s borders, they must make a choice: Beth has it within her to unleash the city’s oldest and greatest powers – powers that could challenge the vengeful goddess, or destroy the city itself.
This is the last book of the Skyscraper Throne trilogy and with every last book in a series I go in with heaps of questions. Will I like the ending the author has come up with? Will it be a happy ending, sad, satisfying, disappointing? I’m always excited and anxious to find out, especially if it’s the end to a series I really liked, like this one.
We’ve been on quite a journey with Beth and Pen, seen so many magnificent and unimaginable things through their eyes and we’ve learned so much along the way, about friendship, about equality and about the fact that appearance isn’t important at all. With Our Lady of the Streets I honestly couldn’t have wished for a more perfect end to this trilogy.
Pollock has packed his last book in the trilogy full of action, new aspects of his imaginative London and gut-wrenching emotions. I was glad to see many of the interesting characters we met in the previous two books making an appearance in this one, though there might be a few surprises when it becomes clear who’s siding with who.
Mater Viae’s mirror sister has broken free from London-Under-Glass and has placed herself on the throne in London. This obviously hasn’t gone by unnoticed. The city is sick, and with the city so is Beth. I was fascinated by how Pollock transformed this sickness to the city. Fever streets that reach scorching temperatures, the earth beneath the city moving, wrecking most of the buildings, whole areas flooded with molten stone. Sewermanders are serving as Mater Viae’s attack force and even more terrifying creatures hunt the people of the city. Everyone looks up to Beth as their leader, as the one who will make this all go away, but she doesn’t see it that way. She feels weak and doesn’t know what to do to help.
More so than in the previous books, the people of London are very aware of everything extraordinary happening in their city (how can they not?) and they are just as much victims of Mater Viae’s reign as the city creatures.
The pacing is yet again spot on, never is there a dull moment. There are always new aspects waiting to challenge Beth and her friends, or another crazy idea to try and overthrow Mirror Mater. You won’t be bored, not even for a second, and it will be damned hard to put down the book once you’ve started it.
As in the previous books, the writing is strong. Over the three books in this trilogy there has been this same quality of writing, which is what makes this such an amazing series of book. The books are all on par with each other, not one is a disappointment when compared to the others, and they all are a very strong addition to the story as a whole.
The one aspect that delivers again and again in the Skyscraper Throne trilogy is the character of Pen. She’s one of the main reasons I absolutely adored The Glass Republic and she’s just as great in this book. Pen tops my list of favourite characters and leaves her competition way behind. It’s so easy to love her, to care for her and everything she’s been through. Her character has grown immensely and she has become such a strong woman.
I didn’t exactly click with Beth in the first book, but I felt more connected to her character in this book. Beth is really struggling. She’s sick, but she feels it’s her responsibility to do something about Mater Viae’s reign of terror, because of her transformation. The decisions she makes and the way she deals with the consequences are admirable and brave. It shows how much Beth has grown as well since the first book.
The ending was both beautiful and heart-rending. I would never have expected an ending like this, but it was perfect. It leaves the reader with a feeling of sadness, but also hope and the feeling that this was the right thing to happen.
The Skyscraper Throne trilogy is one of the best Urban Fantasy series that’s out there, with a fascinating take on London and strong characters that will make you fall in love with the story right away. If you haven’t picked up ‘The City’s Son’ yet, I would definitely recommend you do. You’re in for an amazing ride through a London that will look familiar, but is full of unexpected, wonderful new things to discover.