The final part of this inventive and ferocious fantasy trilogy (Dragon Hunters, 2016, etc.) deftly combines characters from both previous entries—those that are still alive, anyway, and even some that weren’t.
The Augerans are ancient enemies of the Erin Elalese, who defeated them and drove them into exile hundreds of years ago. Now they're back, and they've dispatched an invasion fleet. Standing athwart the fleet’s passage to the shores of Erin Elal are the Rubyholt Isles, a maze of rocks and waterways occupied by barbaric pirate tribes. The Augerans attempt to bribe their way through. Although the fighting picks up practically from the first page, what drives the convincing and impressively sustained action sequences are the witty style, splendid minor characters, ingenious magics, and, above all, lead characters with deeply obscured motives and no reason to trust anybody else. The Storm Lady, Mazana Creed, water-mage and now undisputed ruler of the Storm Isles, who in Book 2 killed the mad god Fume and absorbed some of his powers, finds that she’s been tricked by the dead god’s priestess into becoming a blood mage—a development to which she is not averse. Romany Elivar, a priestess of the goddess Spider and who was killed in Book 1, returns; with doubled irony, she’s now posing as the priestess of a nonexistent god and occupying the body of an assassin slain in Book 2. Guardian Senar Sol, who now serves Mazana Creed while spending much time fighting with her bodyguards and mercenaries, or Revenants, suspects duplicity on the part of Avallon, the Erin Elalese emperor who sent him blindly and callously through a magic gate to the Storm Isles. Turner finishes up with some intriguing stage-setting for further installments and the prospect of even more titanic struggles.
Another stunning, self-contained yarn that firmly establishes Turner in the fantasy front ranks.