Ales is back from his accidental trip to another galaxy, and it seems just in time, too. Things are afoot as the galactic powers move to quell unrest on several fronts, especially the attempt of Lord Viscamon to take over the Kyleri Empire. Osvai receives unexpected support to help him regain the throne he lost, while Ales is anxious to find Turo to make him free Ales from the cage he is trapped in. Meanwhile, Mahnoor is still imprisoned as a spy on the ship he once piloted.
This sixth installment of the series brings together all of the main characters introduced in the previous books as everything seems to be coming to a head. There's lots of action, and it's told from multiple character's point of view. To be honest, it's a bit of a chore trying to remember characters who haven't appeared for two or three books, but there are a few reminders here and there to help you out. However, you will definitely need to have read all of the previous books in the series to have the vaguest clue what's going on in this latest volume.
Ales remains at the center of things, although perhaps not as much as I thought he would be. He's a bit changed by his experiences from the last book, Altered Tides, and more determined than ever to free himself from Turo's control. Meeting Daeron again reminds the rebel leader that he's not as alone as he may have thought, and supporting Daeron when he faces a crisis gives him an even greater connection to his humanity.
It's Daeron who seems to be at the center of things in this story. Like Ales, he is far from perfect, and that shows most in his relationship with Osvai. He's much like many of the characters, and indeed the whole plot of the series as it evolves. Initially, on the surface, this looked like a classic tale of good versus evil, with “good guys” and “bad guys” fighting to save the galaxy. However, as the books, and particularly this volume, progresses, it gets a little hard to tell who is entirely good, or even who is bad. At times, it even seems as though both sides are heading towards the same outcome.
The next book will apparently be the last in the series, when we will presumably find out how things wind up.
“Returning Heroes” is available from Amazon.