Series: Iron Elves #3
Published: October 13, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: For review
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…
This is a different sort of fantasy, I do know that fantasy is about war a lot, but this takes it a step further. It is military fantasy and the author does it so very well.
In the third and final book the world is crumbling. An evil elf wants destruction, and our hero, Major Konowa is bent on finding and destroying her. Since this is military fantasy there is a lot of fighting. First they have to fight they way out of the desert they are in. Evil beings and trees are after them (yes trees ;). And then there is the final battle against the Shadow Monarch. Evans keeps the tempo up and when I am closing in on the end I still do not know how this all will turn out.
While reading it I find myself thinking of the Hornblower adventure books (even if those are set at sea), and the Richard Sharpe series, because the military feeling is clearly 19th century. I do like it because it is so very different. There are usually no guns in fantasy, and I always like those who try something new.
I know that the whole military aspect may be a bit of a turn off for some, but after I had read book 1 I was hooked. You root for the Iron Elves and Konowa. And there is even a tiny bit of romance, I say tiny because it is tiny, but at least it has me hoping he will get his girl.
A nice conclusion to this series and with an ending that made me happy. If you want to try something different then give book 1 a go (because you do need to read the books in order.) And it truly is fantasy for everyone.
Nice, oh and I must mention how much I love the title!