Summary (from the publisher): In Carry On, Simon Snow and his friends realized that everything they thought they understood about the world might be wrong. And in Wayward Son, they wondered whether everything they understood about themselves might be wrong.
In Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon and Baz and Penelope and Agatha have to decide how to move forward.
For Simon, that means deciding whether he still wants to be part of the World of Mages — and if he doesn’t, what does that mean for his relationship with Baz? Meanwhile Baz is bouncing between two family crises and not finding any time to talk to anyone about his newfound vampire knowledge. Penelope would love to help, but she’s smuggled an American Normal into London, and now she isn’t sure what to do with him. And Agatha? Well, Agatha Wellbelove has had enough.
Any Way the Wind Blows takes the gang back to England, back to Watford, and back to their families for their longest and most emotionally wrenching adventure yet.
This book is a finale. It tells secrets and answers questions and lays ghosts to rest.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Some of you may know that I am a huge Rainbow Rowell fangirl, but more specifically for her contemporary books like Fangirl and Attachments (and I of course have my eye on the new paperback/Christmas-y edition of Landline). Although I did really like Carry On when it first came out in 2015, I’ve felt kind’ve mixed on the Simon Snow trilogy. I’ll read anything that Rainbow Rowell writes but I’ve been really hoping she’ll come out more contemporary books soon. Wayward Son fell into unexpected middle book syndrome, since most readers thought that it would be the finale of the series (I did like Wayward Son better during my reread this summer, knowing that the book wasn’t the end), so I was really looking forward to seeing how Rainbow wrapped up Simon Snow & company’s story with Any Way the Wind Blows.
I enjoyedAny Way the Wind Blows but I 100% am here to admit that I thought this book was way too long. I actually sometimes don’t mind ‘fluff’, especially when it comes to series I really enjoy and characters I never want to let go of, but there was so, so much fluff between all the ‘couples’ in this. Listen, I LOVE, love Baz like the rest of us do, but I am here with a quite unpopular opinion: I’m not the biggest fan of Simon. I really love Rainbow Rowell’s concept with the second & third books – what happens when the Chosen One isn’t really the chosen one & after he saves the day – but I still struggle sometimes to understand Simon’s relationships with characters like Baz and Penelope. I also wish we got to spend more time with who unfortunately does not get the spotlight she deserves, Agatha. Ultimately, I did really enjoy Agatha’s storyline in this and I thought her ending was so fitting to the story.
I also wasn’t super invested in one of the main storylines, as the world of Mages looks to find their new Chosen One. I was kind’ve confused by the Smith storyline. I honestly would’ve rather had the story focus on Simon facing his trauma and figuring out his future, along with our other main characters also figuring out their lives instead of getting the Chosen One storyline. It was kind’ve hard to follow at times, especially with the addition of new characters. In contrast, I really liked the Lady Ruth parts of the story – even though I thought it was kind’ve obvious that we knew someone in her family was related to Simon already…
Overall, I enjoyed Any Way the Wind Blows for some of the character storylines, mainly Agatha and Baz, and yes, for getting to finally know what happens next. I’m pretty content with the ending of the story, although I do think it leaves room for another book… My biggest takeaway about Anyway the Wind Blows and the Simon Snow trilogy is that this fantasy series is truly a character driven story. If you’re someone who likes fantasy but wants some romance and character driven plot vs. focus on the fantasy, this series might just be the one for you.
Have you read Any Way the Wind Blows or any books in the Simon Snow trilogy? What are your thoughts? What fantasy books have you been loving lately? Share in the comments!