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Trial of Blood & Steel

Haven by Joel Shepherd is the fourth and final book in A Trial of Blood and Steel series. This is the epic conclusion to the final battle between Arosh's arm and serrin loyalists. Sashandra feels dishonored after seeing the carnage the Regent's armies are inflicting upon her former allies. Sasha ends up defecting and taking three quarters of the Lenayin army to fight with the other side while leaving her brothers to fight for the Regent. As the forces now converge on the city of Jahnd (meaning "haven" in Enoran), the city becomes humanity's refugees in Saalshen. Sasha must lead a delegation to the neighboring capital to combat the xenophobic city's regime retreat into isolation and convince them to defy their leaders and rise up in rebellion to fight a in a war that the city's people do not want. To save Saaslshen and all she loves, Sasha must become a true Lenay warlord. She must become a uncompromising and ruthless and face a possible future of assuming a throne she does not want while leading her people in the greatest battle the land has ever seen.

Recommended for readers who like their fantasy with plenty of military action and politics and a strong female lead. I give it 3 stars.

Book Blurb for Haven

The Army of the Regent Arosh advances on the forces loyal to Saalshen, homeland of the serrin people, as the serrin's friends are in full retreat. Their only hope is to reach the city of Jahnd - the serrin word for Haven - across the River Ipshaal, the only human city in Saalshen itself. The Army of Lenayin marches with the Regent, but Sasha, sister of the newly crowned King Koenyg, can no longer stomach the awful cause for which her people march. As tensions between herself and her brothers rise, Sasha's sister Sofy, wedded to the Regent, travels to the city of Tracato, to attempt to negotiate a peaceful transition of its wonderful heritage of her husband's rule. But there are forces beneath the Regent's banner that wish to see all serrin and serrin-influenced civilisation destroyed for good. As the serrin people fight for survival, families must be betrayed, enemies reconciled, nations persuaded and great armies fought, as A Trial of Blood and Steel reaches its dramatic conclusion.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2011 3.00