Age of War - the war between the humans and elves finally begins
As the newly chosen leader, Persephone must find a way to do the impossible and prepare the Rhunes (humans) for war against the Fhrey (elves) and their vastly superior weapons and magic. Not long ago the humans considered the Fhrey to be gods so going to war with them was unthinkable. That all changed when Raithe, now known as "the god killer," proved that the former gods could be slain. With the rebel elf, Nyphron, advising her on one hand, and Raithe offering different advice on the other, Persephone struggles to make the right choices with so much at stake. Ultimately siding against Raithe she decides to go with Nyphron's plan to attempt to take control of Alon Rhist, the elven stronghold on their border. Nyphron believes that this can be done without bloodshed due to his personal standing with the inhabitants, but if he is wrong the war could be over before it even starts. Nyphron seems to be offering good advice to Persephone but he is not without his own agenda. Since Nyphron and the other rebel elves still refuse to kill their kin, when the bloodshed starts it will be up to the humans to determine their own fate.
The war finally begins and the ensemble cast on both sides of the conflict drive the narrative forward for quite a while before the first battle finally takes place. Many different characters have a part to play as both sides struggle with their own internal challenges in addition to the surprises that their enemy has in store for them. Things move rather slowly with a lot of build up occurring before the big battle finally gets underway and ultimately this is when this book starts to shine. The conflict is well written and it also becomes the key moment for many characters to act on their personal agendas so by the time it is over a lot has changed for many of the characters. I can't say I am one hundred percent happy with how some of the characters evolved but I enjoyed this one for sure. That being said, it is not without its flaws. There is more of the clumsy technology advancement and awkward naming explanations that I disliked from the last book and Sullivan just seems to unnecessarily throw believability out the window to allow certain characters to have their moments.
The series is progressing nicely and for those who have read the other two Riyria series there is extra enjoyment in being able to look upon these events through the lens of knowing how the distant future interprets them. Tim Gerard Reynolds narrates the audiobook version and he continues to be one of the best in the business.