Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2019
Book 4 is broken up into multiple stories again, as are all the other books, however, this time around, we have a new character, ‘The Daughter’, Mahraveh Ayerahi as well as ‘The Thief’, Whitney Fierstown, ‘The Knight’, Torsten Unger, ‘The Mystic”, Sora, and towards the end, ‘The Deserter’, Rand.
The Daughter, Mahraveh, or ‘Mahi’, is none other than the daughter of Muskigo, the Afhem who led the army of Saujibar against the Glassman previously, only to be defeated by Sir Torsten.
In this book, we find out what has happened to her people as a result of the failed battle, the missing Caleef, and the attacks by the North. We see this through the eyes of The Daughter, as she sees the land ravaged by invading armies, their men having been taken to fight elsewhere, or the rest in the city, fighting to become a new Afhem in place of those that have died. It is a place that sees woman only as tools, not as equals, and yet, we learn that previously, Mahi has had opportunities that most other women will never get. As a result, she takes us on a thrilling path as her journey in this book seeks to see her people have a true leader, not one looking to further just their own gains. This part of the story, ‘The Daughter’ is only the start, and will continue on in the next book.
‘The Thief’, Whitney, is travelling with a troupe of Glintish trying to get to Sora. As usual, his story is full of humour, painful moments (as in No, don’t do that Whitney, as you slap your head when he does something really stupid…), and then amazing moments when he does something incredible you didn’t see coming. We see a real change in Whitney in this book though, as his time the Elsewhere has changed him. There are some brilliant characters in Whitney’s parts of the book, Talwyn, Lucindor, and the rest of the Troupe, especially young Gentry. Aquira, Sora’s Wyvern is again, exceptional, and is also developing into another individual character, as opposed to being Sora’s ‘Aquira’. The changes in these characters is very distinct in this book, showing the superior writing skill of the Authors.
As for ‘The Knight’, Torsten is still reeling from the battle atop the mountain when we join him at the start of this book. Having sustained crippling injuries, the loss of both of his eyes, he is unable to fight anymore, even walk around without the guidance of someone else, so he doesn’t trip and break his neck, or a leg. You get the impression that they have just kept him around in the castle, and dressed as a Knight out of recognition to his previous duties, and for killing Redstar, not because he is still one of the best minds in the castle.
However, Torsten is not done, and when a new snake slithers into the fold, in the form of Valin Tehr, a mobster from the less fortunate parts of the city where the slums are, and the majority of the brothels, which Tehr owns, Torsten knows he has to stop him before there is another ‘Redstar’ incident.
This leads to a fascinating and engaging part of the story, in which we see many of the less Major characters King Pi, Lucas, Rand, Abigail, all take part, as Torsten and Valin go head to head to see who can win the ear to the throne,
This is were we really see the writing skill of Bruno and Castle at their best, with some incredible Character writing, as well as exceptional world building and creative descriptive work, to really bring the story to life. You can read some stories and the Author just fails to provide a comprehensive and intricate portrayal of what is occurring, maybe brushing over the event in a rush to tell the next part of the story. Not so here, with the Authors taking the time to vividly detail and craft their scenes so that you are living each and every moment, making this story so much more extraordinary, and captivating than other books.
As stated, the superior Character work makes this book equally outstanding. Each Character, from the Five Main Titled Characters, to multitude of other Characters, every one gets such an engaging amount of attention.
The Authors have also paid the same amount of detail to their world building, this is a story of Epic proportions, and the world building is set to match it. From the details of the fighting pits of the Afhem, to the city streets of the Kingdom, there is just so much detail on every page, that you really feel like you are in the throne room, or sitting at the camp fire with Whitney, or in the dungeons with Torsten, the writing is just beyond outstanding.
The only character I haven’t mentioned so far is Sora, ‘The Mystic’, and I don’t want to say too much about her particular part of the story, as I really don’t want to give away any spoilers. This part of the story is incredibly powerful, and we learn some really interesting things about Sora, and the story. We are finally introduced to Nesillia in all her glory, which is a fascinating experience, and one well worth being a part of. The Mystic’s story is just outstanding.
Overall, this is probably the best book in the series, again, the Authors have outdone themselves, surpassing the other previous versions, which is saying something. This is an Epic series and one not to be missed, and if you have been following it, you will love part 4, and if you haven’t, now is the time to jump in.