Ofrenda a la tormenta by Dolores Redondo – Giving Closure to the Baztan Trilogy

Right after I finished reading The Lecagy of the Bones by Dolores Redondo I knew I had to read the next (and last) installment in the Baztán Trilogy. Keeping on the promise I made to myself to use the public library as much as I can, I borrowed Ofrenda a la Tormenta – ‘Offering to the Storm’, though there is no translation to English available yet – and I got lost in the dense greenery of the Baztán valley one last time.

9788423348688

The story picks up right after The Legacy of the Bones, with D.I Amaia Salazar chasing the network of criminals that has been targeting the families of the Baztán valley for decades, and with her personal struggle with the handsome Judge Marquina. Even though I found the second novel in the series a real page-turner, Ofrenda a la tormeta despite its necessity to give closure to the story, does not equal The Legacy of the Bones in holding the reader’s attention. As Salazar tries to solve the case, her past comes to haunt her one more time in the form of dreams that become an over-used resource by Redondo, making me skip whole paragraphs without having any troubles following the story afterwards.

The novel’s strength lies in the cryptic combination of Amaia’s personal and professional struggles, as her husband James takes a secondary role, and her relationship with her son Ibai no longer plays such a big role in the creation of her own identity, which is to thank after the obsession with motherhood that plagued the previous novel. Instead, Amaia’s relationship with Judge Marquina takes a central role, making Salazar question the decisions that have shaped her life until she met him. However, Redondo does not offer a fresh take on female desire in crime fiction, and Amaia’s infatuation with the Judge takes a darker turn – no spoilers! – that will become the most remarkable struggle of the novel. As for the closure, the Baztán readers will get it as all the events from previous novels – that Redondo wisely brings up again with a few sentences – are tied together.

I was very, very disappointed by Ofrenda a la tormenta as the final installment in the most successful crime series in 21st century Spain. Questioned by a few fellow crime readers here, I had to admit that The Invisible Guardian is a good book, The Legacy of the Bones is a great one, but Ofrenda a la tormenta makes for a very poor ending. I think my main problem relied on how Redondo tells the story, and how Amaia’s issues with her mother, as well as her nightmares became tiring narrative strategies that tried to move the plot forward connecting Salazar’s past and present. However, I had no problem finishing the book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has read the two previous installments as a way of finding closure.

As a Spanish crime fiction reader, I must say that I am really happy that Redondo’s books are also enjoying some success in more than 30 countries now. The novels have changed the way many people in this country perceive crime fiction, especially written by women. Even though the novels were a bit expensive (20€ each!), the publishers also released cheaper paperback editions and most local and public libraries have them as well. In an effort to expand the series’ success, a film adaptation combining the three novels is to be released the 3rd of March 2017, with Basque actress Marta Etura starring as Amaia. Here’s the trailer in Spanish. No spoilers!

If you have not heard of Dolores Redondo’s Baztán Trilogy, you can find more information here:

Review: Baztán Trilogy #1 – The Invisible Guardian

Review: Baztán Trilogy # 2 – The Legacy of the Bones

Exclusive Interview with Dolores Redondo for Books & Reviews

6 thoughts on “Ofrenda a la tormenta by Dolores Redondo – Giving Closure to the Baztan Trilogy

  1. What a shame it was a weak ending to the trilogy. As you say though, still lots of positives to take away. I’m impatiently waiting the release of The Legacy of the Bones in the UK – it’s not out til May!

    1. I know!! I hope you come back here in May after reading The Legacy of the Bones and share what you thought. I think it is the strongest of the three books in terms of structure and language!

  2. I didn’t know the film combined the three novels. I hate when they do that! I thought it was just the first one…
    I agree with you: the ending wasn’t as strong as the previous novels and I even figured out some of the surprises before I read them. I gave this book a high rating in Goodreads but I think it was because I was hyped with the entire trilogy ( I think I read the three books in a week or two).

    1. I think the film combines the three of them because I found a trailer full of spoilers somewhere.

      And I totally agree on the finding out. I knew who, and it totally made sense. I think on average I gave the trilogy a 4-star rating, and I’m happy with it because all the books ready very quickly, and the overall quality of the story is also good – especially taking into account we do not produce much crime fiction in Spain.

  3. Lucky you to be able to read it before it got translated – I too am eager to read it, but shame that it didn’t quite live up to the expectations of the other two books. Still, I am sure this author will produce many more interesting stories.

    1. She just won the Planeta Award for her latest novel. I read a bit about it and it’s not crime fiction, but she features a gay couple as main characters, and I’m really interested in that. I hope you get the translations soon the UK. Maybe even the film? 😉

Have something to say?