In a radical break with tradition, the former concubine, and trained assassin, Hredeen joins Raine as a second chosen of the Emperor Taldan. The move may be almost without precedent, but these are unusual times. The War Guild, originally set up to protect the empire, has turned against Taldan and now seeks to remove him. As more information comes to light about the guild’s plans and the real power they seek, the bigger the threat becomes to the newly formed triad. Can each of the three men overcome their pasts and doubts to save not just the empire, but the two worlds that are threatened?
As predicted when I reviewed the last book of the series, this final installment features an epic show-down between good and evil. Taldan, Raine, and Hredeen, along with their varied friends and family, are of course the good guys. Once the final confrontation begins about two-thirds into the book, it becomes a real page-turner. That is not to say that the first part of the story is slow-paced. Quite the contrary. As pieces start to fall in place and new information gets discovered, it’s hard to put the book down.
While much of the focus is on the triad, almost all of the large number of characters introduced over the preceding books has a role to play in the fight against the War Guild. I think it’s fair to say that the story doesn’t add much to what we already know about the characters. Rather, it uses what’s already been shown to us in the first three books to keep up the pace of the story-telling. If anything, the narrative reinforces what we already know, or suspect, about some of the secondary characters, like the thief Fagan.
This has been a good series, with a consistent story arc that has the epic proportions to sustain it through all four books, and a strong cast of different characters that are each developed as distinct individuals. The length of the series also seems about right. Long enough to develop the varying plot lines sufficiently without becoming so long as to seem like it’s going in circles.
“Rainfall” is available from Amazon.