The Light of Burning Shadows picks up where A Darkness Forged in Fire left off. The Iron Elves have left Elfkyna and its Star and are headed south to Nuzulla Bay. Along the way they stop at a series of islands where they find the inhabitants dead and some really scary creatures occupying them. On the last island, a strange new magic makes an appearance when it catches a shadow on fire! What can this new development mean?
Nuzulla is a desert region and where the original Iron Elves were sent. Konowa Swift Dragon, major of the current Iron Elves and former leader of the banished Iron Elves, hope to find the original Elves and incorporate them into the current regiment. He wants their honor restored and he wants elves back in the Iron Elves.
The Prince of Calahria and leader of the Iron Elves wants a library that is said to be buried under the sand. There is also another Star ready to return. The prince is making deals that he has no right to make and Konowa is once again having to make decisions that place him on the edge.
While you could read this book without having read the first, it would be much better if you have already read the first book. There are lots of characters that are important in both and a couple that you really need to know their history before their roles in this second book will make sense.
The characters are interesting. All of the major characters from the first book continue to play important roles in the second. Sergeant Yimt Arkhorn and Private Alwyn Renwar come to the forefront during this story. Konowa and the Prince still have their own agendas which seldom match. A couple of elves join the group while Rallie continues to report what she sees, and sometimes influences.
This is a very complex series. There are a lot of different things going on at any one point. Different members of the Iron Elves have their own ideas as to what their roles are. As in the first book, the Shadow Monarch has not been defeated and still has a role. To make things worse, the Iron Elves are also up against another evil force. You can only hope that the two evil forces would take out each other but that would only be a dream, wouldn’t it? The original Iron Elves make an appearance but they aren’t what Konowa is expecting and another dwarf becomes an important secondary character.
Because this book is so complex with multiple main characters and several plots going on at once, you can’t just sit and do a quick read. You actually have to pay attention to what you are reading! No light fluff of a book here.
While you aren’t given an exact number of Stars that are expected to return, you are given to believe that there will be several. If each Star is given its own book, this could become a very long series. I’m not sure if that is good or bad. I like this series but if things get too much more complex, I’m not sure I can keep all the plots sorted out in my head!
If you enjoy a good fantasy with depth, plot wise and character wise, give this series a try. I found the second book to be excellent and I’m enjoying seeing the unique twists that are happening. I was shocked when a character that I was sure was long gone showed up and looks to be a very influential character in upcoming books. I was also saddened when characters that I came to love will probably not be seen again. Yet, as this story progresses, I’m sure I’ll find more lovable characters. As with the residents of Calahria, I find it interesting to read about the Iron Elves exploits.
"They might be doomed, damned, and buggered for all eternity, but that didn't mean they couldn't sparkle like a diamond in the sun and grin like a skull in the moonlight on their way to oblivion."
Musket and cannon, bow and arrow, and magic and diplomacy vie for supremacy once again in this second epic fantasy adventure from acclaimed author Chris Evans. As the human-dominated Calahrian Empire struggles to maintain its hold on power in the face of armed rebellion from within, the Iron Elves' perilous quest to defeat the power-hungry elf witch, the Shadow Monarch, takes on greater urgency.
The Iron Elves, shunned by their own people for bearing the mark of the Shadow Monarch, and desperately wanting to forever erase this shame, became legendary for their prowess on the battlefield as the Calahrian Imperial Army's elite shock troops. But when their commanding officer, Konowa Swift Dragon, murdered the Viceroy of Elfkyna, he was exiled, and these brave elves were banished to a remote desert outpost, doomed and leaderless, their honor in tatters.
Recalled to duty to reform his regiment from the dregs of the Imperial Army, Konowa thwarted the plans of the Shadow Monarch at the Battle of Luuguth Jor — ensuring that the fabled Red Star, a source of great natural energy, did not fall into Her hands. Now Konowa must cross storm-tossed seas to seek out the lost elves and the prophesied return of another Star somewhere in a desert wasteland roiling with mysterious power, infernos of swirling magic, and legends brought back to life in new and terrible ways. And the fate of every living creature will come to depend on a small band of ragged and desperate soldiers, whose veryloyalty to the Empire they have sworn to serve is no longer certain. When death is but a temporary condition, a terrifying question arises: who is the true ally — and fearsome enemy — in a growing conflict that threatens all?