Striker Gryphon has lost his position of honor among the Ram, and is now a hunted man. A traitor.
Zo, the object of his affection, was murdered by members of his former clan. To honor her memory, he journeys to the highly secretive Raven “Nest” to warn strangers of their impending demise—though it could cost him more than just his pride.
He doesn’t know that Zo is very much alive and in another part of the region assisting Nameless refugees over a mountain swarming with wild men known as “Clanless.”
As each struggle to make sense of what their lives have become, they fight and claw to reach the Allied Camp, their last hope in bringing peace to the region.
But the road back to one another is treacherous and uncertain. And freedom will come with a price.
Wow, what a whirlwind this trilogy was! When I first picked up Nameless, I had no idea each book would leave me begging for more and that I would fall in love with its resilient characters, action-packed plot, and tremendous character growth. Jenkins is a great writer and catches readers up in this third book in no time. We’re preparing for war, though Zo and Gryphon both have secrets from the other that they’re waiting to reveal. Told from a limited third person POV between Zo and Gryphon , Fearless is an incredible ending to a YA fantasy series from an indie publisher that I recommend fantasy lovers to hurry and pick up!
This story starts off with Gryphon counting down the days until his pending execution. But during these twenty or so days, he must also prove himself to the Allies group – the clan members that are focused on winning against the Ram clan – and help train them. At the same time, Zo finds her healing magic “broken” in a way, although that doesn’t stop her from helping out. Gryphon was really character of the day throughout this book. He had such an inner battle raging against him as he tried to befriend people of various clans that he was taught to defeat while growing up. But despite all odds, his love for his family – Zo and Joshua – allow him to overcome that prejudice and learn to love the other clans for their differences.
“His entire life, Gryphon had been trained to think of everyone outside of the Gate as lesser. Human, yes, but only in the simplest, unimportant form. Zo had forced him to reconsider everything he’d ever believed to be true.”
I loved seeing the characters that accumulated over the course of two books come together and work for an end-goal. There’s the sagacious Sani and capricious and headstrong Raca from the Raven clan, the family-man Ikatou from the Kodiak clan, and Commander Laden heading the Allies – although his background remains a mystery no one has questioned. There’s a great overlaying message of the importance of family and love throughout this book that was awesome to see. Each Ally is fighting not just for survival, but for the future of their clans, families, and other loved ones. The battle scenes and the build-up towards the final war was really well-written as Jenkins keeps readers in suspense in an agonizing way that makes the climax even more worth reading. I loved the small details and customs that Jenkins writes to create distinctions from each clan, and seeing these traditions come together as the clans are essentially united. It really spoke of a group with unity and values, which is essential when going forward to war.
The book is not perfect, however. Although I thought the build-up towards the climax and many side plot lines were written really well, there are some things that don’t really get explored as much before getting resolved. It’s a big question of “why was this necessary” since the resolution is either anticlimactic or irrelevant in the story. The next one isn’t a complaint but moreso an observation of how integrated traditional gender roles are in this story. The women and children are always put as important and thus protected in the battle with the men fighting at the frontlines. The only exception to that is mostly the main characters at the forefront of the battle and strategy. Normally I would shrug it off, but it’s so pronounced throughout the story that I couldn’t help but notice.
Gryphon and Zo’s romance remain ship of my heart, just like it was in the previous books when they were still falling in love. They are both fiercely in love with the other, and that extends towards each other’s immediate family as well (mainly Tess and Joshua). While it’s true there are secrets withheld from one another during half of the book (Gryphon’s was the main one that was grating), worry not! They get resolved with minimal misunderstanding and drama. I love that their romance is based on trust for one another, and that neither person is afraid of apologizing or owning up to their mistakes. They make for an incredibly honest and wholesome couple that I really appreciate, considering the deceptive ships that are out there in YA fantasy.
“True courage is not measured in battles won. It is in finding the right course of action and following it, no matter the repercussions.”
Overall, the conclusion of the trilogy was awesome as everything got wrapped up – I can’t think of any loose string that is bothering me upon reading the finale. While the book is not perfect, it was just the right amount of “amazing” to ensure that I really enjoyed reading it. Zo and Gryphon are awesome characters that go through so much – both physically and mentally – while the other side characters have their own depth. The cultures of each clan really stand out as they become more integrated, and I was so extremely happy with how Jenkins wrapped everything up. I really recommend YA fantasy readers to try out this series – especially as it’s an indie book that needs more love! It’s underrated, and ultimately a gem waiting to be read.