Synopsis: In order to stop High General Takashi Ironskin, the paladins of the Hopegiver must activate the Light of Creation, a warhammer so magically powerful it can kill a god. To do so, four paladins – the wolf Vorel, the fox Rasvim, the mouse Acton, and the Wolfen Mier – travel to the K’Mir Empire in hopes of finding the Font of Light. In order to survive the journey, they enlist Trent, a defector from the empire, to lead them through its toxic deserts.
As they travel through those dangerous lands, the snowcat paladin Torr heads north with a group of allies to try and rally old enemies of Takashi Ironskin to their cause. All of the paladins and their friends hold hopes that they can gather an army large enough to challenge General Ironskin’s terrifying undead soldiers.
The paladins of the Hopegiver know the risks they must take, and sacrifices that may have to face. Above all else, they must protect the innocent – no matter the cost.
After reading part two of this trilogy, I really hoped that Halden would redeem himself with this third and final installment of his Paladin Trilogy. This he did.
Transcending Hallowed Walls takes us to the K’Mir empire, the hostile homeland of the Chosen; Frontier, the country of the commonfolk; back to Oya, and back to Vasani, where the final stand to dethrone Takashi Ironskin and take back the city. In contrast to the second book, Halden actually takes the time to effectively describe these two new countries, which satisfied me as a reader. The story is fast-paced, but there’s still enough time to get to know these foreign contries.
The paladins are joined by new allies once again, who are all interesting in their own way. It seems Halden has a knack for coming up with enjoyable characters. As a reader I’ve come to love them, and it was great to see them develop throughout the entire trilogy. Some characters don’t change that much, but others undergo a complete metamorphosis. Excellent!
As we get towards the ending of the story, I came to realize that these three books hadn’t really played with my emotions all that much. Sure, there were some events that triggered a reaction, but it wasn’t really that evident. However, the epilogue hit me right in the feels. It also creates some room for a new story, by raising a few new questions. However, I personally really wish that Halden will stop writing about the paladins after this story. Any more would just feel like he’s milking it, even though there really isn’t that much left to give.
I enjoyed this story. I really did. However, the final chapter, where the paladins fight to reclaim Eldere, kind of ticked me off. I felt that the fighting in the street was way too easy, and the paladins just wandered through the city, whistling, while crushing the undead under their feet. However, two of our beloved paladins, and one of my favourite characters, died unnecessarily. I’m talking about Acton here. I feel he could’ve easily taken on that darkmage, and that he didn’t need to die. This of course led to the death of Mier, who went on a rampage.
Torr died in a purposeful way, or at least that’s what it seemed like, because apparently it didn’t do the others much good. I feel it would’ve been best for him to assist the paladins in the actual battle before sacrificing himself. He could’ve done that later, right?
Vorel’s death also seemed kind of…stupid? Here’s the head paladin of the Hopegiver, respected all over the continent, with the strongest weapon in his paws, and he can’t get rid of one darkmage? Seems a little off to me.
It just seemed like Halden wanted to create a situation where the last paladin standing, Rasvim, felt completely isolated and alone, which led to the very sad epilogue, which was actually very good.
All of this leads me to wondering why the gods didn’t step in and help? Sure, it’s been explained that they cannot directly interfere with Takashi Ironskin, because he’s a darkmage, but what stopped them from giving our heroes amazing regenerative powers, endless energy, and a powerful strength and speed boost? It almost seemed like they didn’t care at all, which made the Hopegiver crying over Vorel’s dead body somewhat strange. The god saying that Vorel was doomed from the beginning, because he was the Hopegiver’s, and thus a god’s, child, does not justify that.
I also kept wondering when Mhegan would step up and actually blast someone with this supposed amazing power she has inside of her. I feel not enough has been done with this character, and she could have aided in this war, and could’ve prevented needless deaths. I do understand why she didn’t, or rather couldn’t, revive the slain paladins. Paladins of the Hopegiver can’t be revived. She revived Torr ones, right? That was because he wasn’t a paladin of the Hopegiver at that time, after his little oopsie with Rasvim. Only after he was revived, was he reinitiated as a paladin.
I don’t necessarily hate sad or bad endings, but I do not condone the needless killing of beloved main characters.
END OF SPOILERS!
All in all, I enjoyed this book, and it is a nice ending to the trilogy. However, I still feel it could’ve been better, especially if what I just wrote had not happened in this way.