While I totally loved the first Dust Lands book, and the second was very good, Raging Star started off very slowly for me. I know it's been a while since I read the second book, and maybe I did need a couple of chapters to get back into the unique writing style. Problem with that theory is that the slowness lasted for at least the first third of the book, and I almost started to skim ahead to see how the series ended. I'm glad I didn't, however, because the ending definitely made up for the initial problems.
Raging Star brings Saba and her band to the ultimate showdown against the founder of New Eden, De Malo and the Tonton. But the book opens with the group bringing down a critical bridge and Saba's unease only intensifies when things happen that cause her to wonder if they are fighting the best way possible. There is also something underhanded happening within the group as Nero is feared killed at one point. Saba is forced to the edge of sanity and physicality by her decisions in how to defeat the New Eden people, and the lies she's felt compelled to tell wear her down further. I wanted her to get herself together and I wanted to shake her; the author did an excellent job of showing how Saba was pushed to the wall and still maintained her position as a leader fighting injustice. Once the plot started coming together, the pace picked up nicely and the ultimate showdown is well worth the wait.
There's a lot of tragedy in Raging Star: a lot of heartbreak, a lot of holding on because there's nothing else left to do. But there's also a lot of people stepping up in unexpected ways and a lot of finding inner strength when you believe there's none left. Saba is a wonderful character, truly alive and flawed, and she's surrounded by characters who love her or at least respect her enough to listen to her ideas. If the first part is slow, the wade through is well worth it as the final third is a wild ride that won't let you go until the end. I'm sorry to see this trilogy end, but I do think the author achieved an almost perfect conclusion.