This third, and what appears to be last, book in the Iron Elves series picks up where the previous book ended meaning that this series is best read in order. However, for readers of this series, this book quickly gets you back into the fight against the Shadow Monarch. The suspense heightens the anticipation as the Iron Elves go on what appears to be a suicide mission; unexpected leaders present themselves and the plot weaves it’s way to an unexpected conclusion. Though it took me a while to get back into this series, once I did, I had no desire to put down this book and when I finish all I could think is how much I enjoyed it.
Major Konowa Swift Dragon may be the leader of the Iron Elves but he learns a lot about himself through his subordinates, the civilians traveling with them and his parents. These revelations change the way he looks at this up coming battle against the Shadow Monarch and how he sees his leadership. Death continues to follow the Iron Elves which increases the ranks of the shadow regiment which is now lead by Private Renwar who thinks he’s loosing his mind. Konowa’s father is no longer a squirrel but he’s not talking either. His help is needed if they are going to accomplish their mission.
There is so much more going on in this book. The complexity of the plot comes together into a wonderful finish. There is so much going on though that I can’t do justice to each subplot or character. Just know, that this is a fantasy series worth reading.
The Calahrian Empire is collapsing. All across the realm native populations are rising up to throw off the shackles of colonial rule. Two key factors drive this -- the return of the Stars of Power and Knowledge and the spread of the Shadow Monarch's forest. The result is that the Calahrian Imperial Army is stretched thin trying to maintain order at the critical moment when it is needed to fend off the advances of the elf-witch. For the Iron Elves regiment, their loyalty is tested to the breaking point. The Prince is devastated by the destruction of the Lost Library and the realization that the Empire he is to inherit is crumbling. Major Konowa Swift Dragon is determined to lead the living survivors of the regiment while Private Alwyn Renwar -- an emissary with his own agenda -- commands the dead. Together, their only hope is to break the oath that binds them, but doing so means making the perilous journey to the Shadow Monarch's mountain in a final confrontation that may be the ultimate trap. There is only one way to find out...