The Light of Burning Shadows by Chris Evans
Book 2 of The Iron Elves
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.
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 very loyalty 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? (fantastic fiction)
This book continues where book 1 left off. Konowa and The Iron Elves are destroying the Shadow Monarchs trees on islands on their way to the desert on the south. There Konowa hopes to meet up with his exiled men, the true Iron Elves and with them take up the fight to banish the Shadow Monarch. But as they come closer darkness is growing, and there are rumours about another Star falling in the desert. Everyone wants the starts power for their own purpose, and Konowa knows that he held it once and did not free his men from their terrible oath, but can he do it again?
I really liked book 1, A Darkness Forged in Fire. It was good, and then suddenly it was so good that I did not want to put it down. Not the same feeling here because all books are different, but this was still great epic fantasy, and after reading this I do want to read book 3 that is out sometime 2010.
A negative thing about this book is that he did not move forward the possible relationship between Visyana and Konowa. Are there to be more books? Because then he movie it slow, as it was now they did not even say a word to each other. That was a tad bit slow since there obviously is something there.
The other negative part for me was that this was mostly about Allwyn, yes he was crucial to the book as he can see their fallen comrades and talk to them, he has a tree for a leg and he can handle the dark magic the best. It was his story in a way, still I missed Konowa.
But don't get me wrong, this was still good fantasy. The battle continues and I am really starting to like the different soldiers, while not so much others. Here we learnt more and got to see more of everyone, and of course big epic fight in the end when the star has come. The Empire wants it, the desert wants it, mysterious powers wants it, the Shadow Monarch wants it, yes it's not an easy battle and he manages to surprise me in the end.
Good old fantasy, with a big slice of military, I do like it. I will always like fantasy the best because it has this way of capture me the most. It's the excellent world building, the thought behind the political unrest and so forth. Oh and gotta have a nice map too, I want to see where I am going. This book has all those things, and I hope book 3 keeps up the good pace.
"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."