Cass Caravello finally shows that she is capable of kicking some ass in Starling, the explosive conclusion to Fiona Paul's Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy.
The heroine of the series has certainly evolved from a sheltered rich girl into a confident young woman in Starling, while her fiancé Luca da Peraga has shown a similar transformation. In Venom and Belladonna, Luca was described as bookish but in Starling, he finally displays a strength never seen before when he and Cass finally go up against the diabolic Order of the Eternal Rose once and for all.
Following Cass's successful attempt at breaking Luca out of prison at the end of Belladonna, the pair are now fugitives from both the Venetian Duke's soldiers and wealthy man Joseph Dubois's private army. Meanwhile, Venice is hit by a spate of vampire attacks believed to have been instigated by Dubois. On top of that, there is Luca's deranged half-brother Cristian de Lambert to contend with.
Stunning conclusion: Starling, the final book in Fiona Paul's Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy shows Cass Caravello facing off with her enemies in style.
Starling literally hits the ground running, with Cass and Luca being forced apart early in the book as they set off to clear their names and the find the Book of the Eternal Rose that contains evidence of Dubois's involvement in nefarious experiments and murder of innocent women as well as his association with the mysterious Belladonna, the Florence-based leader of the Order of the Eternal Rose and Falco's patroness. Cass must also make the painful decision as to which man she should choose to be her future partner.
With alluring courtesans and chivalrous mercenaries, as well as the ultimate wedding at the very end, Starling is a fitting close for the suspenseful series that has been Secrets of the Eternal Rose. A trilogy can sometimes be likened to a three-course meal, and in this case, the final course has been the best.