The rebellious incursion into one of Anrodnes’ neighbors instigated by Raine’s brothers has been quashed, and the brothers have paid with their lives. Now Prince Zaran can return return to the capital, and bring the banished concubine, and trained assassin, Hredeen with him. Nobody knows how the emperor will react to being reunited with his former favorite, not even the Chosen, Raine, who stands to lose the most. There’s more at stake than just feelings, the War Guild seems bent on bringing down the Anrodnes empire.
This third book in the Anrodnes Chronicle seems to bring all the key players together for the final showdown that will take place in the next book, which is supposed to be the final one in the series. One of the things I like about this series is that while there are nearly a dozen key characters, they’re all worked into the story in such a way that I’ve never had much trouble remembering who was who, which is often a problem when there is such a large number of characters.
By the end of this volume, each of the characters is well known to the reader. They all have very distinct personalities, and while they come from a disparate set of backgrounds and circumstances, it seems very likely that they all will have a role to play in the final outcome. The story arc so far has not been at all what I would have predicted, so what, exactly, the final outcome will be is anybody’s guess.
One thing we can be relatively sure of is that Taldan, Raine and Hredeen will be at the center of the action in the next book. The developing dynamic between these three men is quite complicated. Taldan is still very much in love with Hredeen, despite the concubine’s perceived deceit. Yet Raine is his Chosen and the two now share a connection that can’t be broken. It’s a love triangle that could have dire consequences for the empire if the three can’t succeed in making it work.
As with many epic tales, this series has at it’s core a battle between good and evil. That’s even more evident in this last book, as Taldan is forced to fight against a dark side to the magical powers passed down from one emperor to the next. And yes, I didn’t realize it until after I finished this installment that there’s a hint of the kind of story line that runs through the “Star Wars” movies. It’s such a subtle allusion that it may not even be intentional. There are definitely other parallels to popular as well as classical stories.
“Drums in the Rain” is available from Amazon.