I have reviewed the first two books in the Song For A Lost Kingdom (SFLK) trilogy by Canadian author Steve Moretti. The first novel's review is posted here and the second novel's review is here. I am now reviewing an ARC of the third SFLK book which I received for free from the author. The current publication date for book #3 is August 15, 2020.
Like the previous volumes, music and Jacobites are strong focuses in this novel. Yet the central dilemma of the plot in the third book is displacement in time. Female protagonists Adeena and Katharine are unable to return to the time periods where they belong. It will seem to the reader that this is much more of a problem for 18th century Katharine Carnegie who is totally baffled by the 21st century. Yet as the story line hurtles towards its climax, there are urgent family reasons why Adeena Stuart should return from the 18th century to 21st century Canada.
Both women have inner conflicts that are well-portrayed. Steve Moretti ably ramps up the turmoil in their lives. It seemed as if every plot element and each relationship reached a state of crisis over the course of the narrative.
Another thematic strand from the earlier books, is the continuing 21st century attempt to find a scientific explanation for what has been happening to Adeena. In Book 2 Adeena's mother Jacqueline fastens on epigenetics as the field that will hold the key to Adeena's strange experiences. In Book 3 Jacqueline has developed another theory also based in the riddle of DNA.
I continued to believe that this wasn't a problem that science could solve. For me, the connection between Adeena and Katharine was woven across time by the power of music. While DNA may have played a role in their finding each other, it was their love of a special musical instrument that really bound them together.
The resolution was a bittersweet one. It was both heartrending and cathartic. It also seemed inevitable. This is what needed to happen to set everything right. As I've been saying in my reviews of each SFLK book, this isn't Outlander. Happily ever after takes a very different form for Adeena and Katharine than it would for Gabaldon's protagonists, Jamie and Claire. In the end of the SFLK trilogy, there is loss but there is also rebirth. This strikes the chord of truth for me. It's what happens in so many real lives. I was satisfied by SFLK #3. I will never forget the music at the heart of these novels, but I am ready to move on to Steve Moretti's next project.