A Darkness at the End

The previous book in Ruth Frances Long’s trilogy left heroine Izzy in a dark place. She was forced to take some drastic decisions that ultimately led to the death of her boyfriend, Jinx. Although some time has passed, things haven’t improved much. Izzy’s lost her memory and with it some of her ability to keep the peace between the worlds of angels and demons, humans and the supernatural. As a ‘grigori’, a kind of balancing entity, Izzy straddles the everyday world of Dublin and the concealed world of Dubh Linn, where creatures from Celtic mythology hold sway. The matriarch of those creatures, Holly, is preparing to unleash chaos on both worlds just at the time Izzy is least able to cope with it.

For this Irish reader the fusing of real-life Dublin with mystical Dubh Linn has been one of the greatest charms of this series, and not only because of the thrill of recognition (though there is a great joke about what’s going on now in the closed-up Clery’s department store). The dual location is a great metaphor for the confusion of growing up, when we can be quite at home one minute and then suddenly feel like we don’t belong. As Holly devastates all around her, Izzy finds that she needs her friends from both worlds to offer effective resistance. She doesn’t need to choose just one version of herself; she can be both Dublin and Dubh Linn. It’s a satisfying conclusion to a complex and compelling series.