Three Words Promised

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for the earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels [here] and [here].

Three Words Promised was written by Ingrid Seymour and first published in 2017. The novel forms the third and final part of the Djinn Empire series and follows on directly where One Wish Away (2017) and Two Hearts Asunder (2017) left off, with Marielle and her friends preparing to face an evil and powerful djinn.

Marielle and Faris were determined to be together, yet their actions could very well have led to the end of the world. They have given Akeelah everything that she needs to make an army of half-djinn – powerful monsters under her control which are more than capable of hurting people. Now there is nothing to stop her from unleashing them on the world, finally realising her desire to end all human life.

Although part of Marielle still just wants to run and hide, she knows that she is partially responsible for what has happened and therefore she has a responsibility to stop Akeelah. However, she does not know where to begin. The binding spell seems to be their only hope but Faris is not powerful enough to summon a demon by himself. They need to find another powerful magic user, but in a world torn by fear and violence, they have no idea where to start looking.

It’s not long before Akeelah puts her final plan in motion and Marielle realises that their time has run out. If they don’t stop Akeelah right away, there is not going to be a world left to save. With her friends and family all in grave danger, Marielle has no choice but to finally face the evil djinn. But in order to stop Akeelah, she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice…

Before I begin this review, there are a couple of things that you should be aware of. Firstly, it should be noted that Three Words Promised does carry on pretty much where the previous instalment left off. These books don’t stand alone at all and so I really would recommend reading them in sequence if you want to have any idea of what is going on.

Secondly, this story is a bit different to the two books that came before it. One Wish Away was a pretty straightforward paranormal romance and, while Two Hearts Asunder was a bit darker, it was still more of an urban fantasy novel than a horror story. However, Three Words Promised is pretty grisly in places. There is a massacre in the opening chapter that was incredibly nasty, as well as further scenes that feature horrifying demons and implied child deaths. If you’re planning to give this book to a young or sensitive reader, you might want to flip through it yourself first so you can judge if it is suitable.

With that out the way, I’m pleased to say that I found this book to be the strongest instalment of the Djinn Empire series. Three Words Promised was a short and fast-paced novel that was quick to set the scene and get into the action. Unlike previous instalments, the setting this time is an almost dystopian world which has been thrown into conflict by Akeelah’s plan to destroy humanity.

Immediately, this adds a certain bleakness to the tale that the previous books did not have. I loved the sense of isolation and futility as Marielle roams the deserted streets of New Orleans in search of her friends. It’s difficult to see how Marielle and Faris could ever hope to defeat something as powerful as Akeelah, and this made for some very tense and compelling reading as the story gradually built to their inevitable showdown.

As with the previous instalment, the narrative flits between Marielle and Faris in first person, and Akeelah in third. While I am not generally a fan of multiple narrators, in this novel it did work well. There was a lot less of the repetition that I noted in my previous reviews, and the characters all felt different so I never became confused as to who was narrating. The only thing that I did find to be unnecessary was the chapter that Robert narrated. I’m pretty sure that there was only one that was told his point of view and, on this basis, I’m not sure why it was included at all. It didn’t really add anything to the tale – it felt as though it had just been stuffed in there for the sake of it.

While the plot of the novel was quick to draw me in and certainly kept my attention, I did have a few small issues with the pacing at times. Three Words Promised keeps its tension well, but very little of consequence happened during the middle section. It mainly just shows the protagonists hiding out at Live Oak and trying to avoid using any magic. While this ultimately wasn’t that problematic as the novel isn’t very long, it did still feel as though the author was dragging things out a little.

I also felt that the end of the story was a bit rushed. The book seemed to wrap itself up rather rapidly over its last 4%, with a few things just seeming to occur for dramatic convenience. I’m not going to say much more about that here as I don’t want to spoil the ending of this trilogy for you, but I will just say that some of the events didn’t really get much explanation, and seemed to contradict things that we already learned about how magic works in Seymour’s world. Personally, I found this to be a tad disappointing. As this is the final instalment of the trilogy, I had really been hoping that the characters would get the send-off that they deserved.

Yet the biggest strength of the Djinn Empire series is still its characters. I really adore Marielle. Despite the fact that she made a couple of questionable rash decisions in this novel, she is still a really strong protagonist and played an integral part in the final battle against Akeelah. She still makes a great partner for Faris. While a lot of paranormal romance stories tend to treat the female protagonist as someone who needs constant protection, it was refreshing in this novel to see that Marielle and Faris were always equals.

However, there was a bit of a lack of focus on the supporting cast. While they are always present, we don’t really get to see where a lot of them end up. Abby and Maven’s relationship is largely built off-page and whiny, irritating Samuel never truly gets the dressing down that he deserves. The book is still mainly Marielle and Faris’s show, which is great, but I would have liked to have gotten a little more closure for their friends as well.

So, anyway, that’s about all that I have to say. Despite my grumbling, I have enjoyed this series on the whole and did feel that the story got better and better with every volume. While there is still room for improvement, the series does have a lot going for it and is worth a look in if you’re a fan of paranormal romance or urban fantasy stories. It’s clear that Seymour is a talented writer, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Three Words Promised can be purchased as a Paperback and eBook on Amazon.co.uk

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