Book Review: Necessity by Jo Walton

Hello friends!  I’m rounding out my last couple Throwback Thursday posts with a review of Necessity, the third book in Jo Walton’s Thessaly series.


Rating:  ★★★★

This is a really beautifully told trilogy, and the trilogy I’m giving 5 stars. It starts sort of slowly and without much action in The Just City, but ends on a high note with what is known as The Last Debate. It gives the reader lots of philosophical questions to consider. The action in The Philosopher Kings increases overall, but there are still plenty of philosophical questions to chew on.

We end here, with Necessity, which gives us almost nothing philosophical to consider, yet provides us with plenty of laugh out loud entertainment and an excellent conclusion to the overall story.

We get to meet some new characters and we are reacquainted with some old ones. Apollo is our constant of course. Then we have Crocus, who finally gets to tell us his side of the story. I wasn’t head over heels in love with Crocus’s story, even though I adore him as a character, he just seemed disconnected from the action this go around. The same is true for our other POV character, Jason. He’s not a bad character, but he is a third party observer. He really has very little to do overall with the main plot lines of the book or the trilogy. I found myself questioning the choice to include them as POVs.

Lastly we have Marsilia, Simmea’s granddaughter. Her chapters were my favorite to read. The dynamics between her and her sister Thetis were very well done. Each having or being something the other sort of maybe desired but always ultimately loving to each other.

So what was it that held this back from being a 5 Star read? Well like I mentioned, I didn’t feel like two of the POVs were all that relevant. I wasn’t sure why we were being fed those stories. Crocus’s were sparse enough and gave enough insight to his part in the past two books that I didn’t mind their inclusion, but I really just felt like Jason was an odd choice. He even says at one point: I have no idea why I’m here. Well Jason, I don’t know either. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike him and I thought he was a well done character, but it was like he was included for the sake of having a narrator.

The second reason this wasn’t quite a 5 Star read was that the chapters are told “out of time”. We already know what’s happening or what to expect and then we cut to Marsilia who’s doing something with Hermes that earlier in the story seemed as if it was already done. It was just sort of confusing and jarring to follow.

Everything else I loved. The ending turned me into an ugly crying mess because these characters just grew on me so much through out the trilogy.

These are fantastic, quick books that I would highly recommend to fans of both fantasy and science fiction (as it started in what felt like fantasy and ended firmly in the science fiction department).

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