‘The Last Fallen Realm’ by Graci Kim: It’s never easy to say goodbye

Our Last Fallen Realm book review dives into the third and final chapter of the Gifted Clans series by Graci Kim, concluding Riley Oh’s journey that began in The Last Fallen Star.

Every Rick Riordan Presents book brings something special to the table, but I have a soft spot for Graci Kim’s Gifted Clans series. Maybe it’s the author’s love of food and the way she depicts magical morsels on the page, or perhaps it’s Riley herself, and the journey she goes on across all three installments.

Either way, The Last Fallen Realm‘s publication is a bittersweet moment because the series has come to a close. At this time, we don’t know if Graci will ever revisit this world, and while I loved where Riley, Dahl, Hattie, Emmett, and all the others ended up, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to say goodbye.

Related: Graci Kim on ‘The Last Fallen Realm’ and saying goodbye to the Gifted Clans series

If you’re having trouble remembering what happened in the last book, I recommend checking out my Last Fallen Moon book review for a little refresher. Suffice it to say that while Riley secured a new patron god for the Gom clan, returned everyone’s memories of her, and essentially saved the Spiritrealm, our intrepid heroine also discovered an even bigger problem to solve.

There is no getting around it—Riley Oh killed the Cave Bear Goddess at the end of the first book. Her sisters, the patron goddesses of the other clans in the Gifted Community, were not too happy about that, and we discovered at the end of the second book that they had plans to create an army and exact their revenge. Despite all the good things that happened following Riley’s return from the Spiritrealm, she also discovered that the goddesses took away everyone else’s magical abilities, leaving them somewhat defenseless as war loomed on the horizon.

Needless to say, this book starts off with the stakes higher than they’ve ever been—and as Riley reminds us pretty early on, she’s only thirteen. Going up against a gaggle of goddesses would be tough for even the strongest and bravest adult. Luckily, Riley has a lot of wonderful people on her side.

last fallen realm book review

I’m happy to use my Last Fallen Realm book review to report that all our favorites return for this final chapter. Despite still being stuck in the Spiritrealm, Hattie plays a large role in this book, and even gets her own arc. We learn what’s been going on with her since the first book, and she even gets some cool new powers. I’ve always loved the relationship between Hattie and Riley, and they’re better than ever in this book because Hattie knows how to bring out the best in her sister.

Then there’s Dahl, who was a mysterious new character in the last book but has won over the hearts of everyone he’s met since his introduction. Dahl is Riley’s opposite in many ways, which certainly helps her in this book as she finds her footing as a leader. I love Dahl’s gift of gab, the unique way he sees the world, and his obsession with his hair. Even better, we experience a side to Dahl we haven’t seen before, and it ended up being the most emotional part of the book for me.

There are plenty of other characters who play a role in The Last Fallen Realm, but the one I was most excited to get back to was Emmett. We didn’t see much of him in Fallen Moon because he’d forgotten who Riley was and she spent most of that book in the Spiritrealm. In this book, they’ve teamed up together once more, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still complicated! They’ve both changed a lot since we first met them in Fallen Star, and I was so happy with where they ended up, both as individuals and together.

As always, Graci’s world is exciting and vibrant and full of magic. We get to visit Vegas in this book, as well as the Godrealm—and just about everywhere in between. There are some cool new creatures to learn about, along with some exciting new characters on both sides of the war. I have to say, even though the goddesses kind of want to upend reality, I found them to be just as interesting as anyone else in this book. There are also plenty of interesting ways magic is incorporated into the story, including all those brands we’ve come to know that look a little like ours but are just the slightest bit different.

Without getting into spoiler territory for this Last Fallen Realm book review, I want to touch on the end of this series and where it leaves us. There are, undoubtedly, consequences to Riley’s actions, which started back in Fallen Star. She’s come such a long way over the course of three books, and though I never had any doubt, I’m excited to say she ends up in a truly beautiful place. This book is as much about defeating your own worst enemy (yourself) as it is about having empathy for the people you don’t get along with. Even more so, it’s about moving on to the next chapter of your story, letting go of what came before in order to embrace your true potential.

As I said earlier, I don’t know if Graci will continue to explore this world in a spinoff series following these characters or introducing new ones, but if she does, I will eagerly anticipate any new glimpse we get of the Gifted Clans universe. It’s always difficult to say goodbye, but no matter what Graci does now, I’ll be in line for her next book.

‘The Last Fallen Realm’ published on June 6, 2023

Buy The Last Fallen Realm by Graci Kim from Disney, Bookshop.org, or Amazon. You can also add it to your Goodreads list.

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