The last book was full of a lot of set up for this one and now it is time to see if there is going to be a payoff. The title implies that Ty is going to be front and center since he is the one tasked to go on a typical fantasy RPG collection quest and assemble the four-part key in or to bring a mythical wizard's keep back into existence. Of course he has no idea how to do this, but he knows that he must accomplish it before the White Tower becomes unstoppable. Ty must travel from one land to another through a series of magical portals to find these key pieces, so the constant changes of scenery keep his adventure feeling fresh and unique every step of the way. Unfortunately the same is not true for the other PoV characters. Ferrin remains on the run after his escape from the White Tower and Ayrion still does not have his memories back, so in a way all three of them are dawdling around on side quests while the main storyline goes unpursued. Will that change before this one ends or is this even more set-up for the next book?
The last book, The White Tower, ended with each of the PoV characters in an interesting position, so I was eager to find out what was going to happen next. Ayrion, the King's Guardian Protector, was completely in limbo since the King was now dead and his memory was lost. Unfortunately that means that he would not be able to respond to the treachery that led to the king's downfall, at least for now. Ferrin the blacksmith became the first person to ever escape the dungeons of the White Tower, and that puts him on the run along with those that helped him. And finally, Ty has started coming into his power with revenge on his mind for the death of his mother, instead of the destiny he is supposed to fulfill. It was a good set-up for all of them, but since this is also the middle book of a trilogy that could also mean it was going to lead to a lot of filler.
Magic has been banished in the Five Kingdoms for a millennium, except for those in the White Tower. This place is no Hogwart's though, as the tower makes sure to round up anyone who is even loosely accused of using magic and then purges them of the ability. Supposedly the wielders that are purged of their powers are let go to live their lives, but the reality is that none of them are ever heard from again. In response to this existential threat, an underground of wielders has been built up over the years, and they do their best to keep their powers a secret. Some of their diverse powers are stronger than others, but in combination they are capable of some amazing things .This story is told through multiple PoV characters that are involved in this struggle in different ways: Ferrin, a wielder blacksmith who has been captured by the White Tower, Ty, a young boy who keeps his nascent power hidden, Valtor, the head of the White Tower, and Ayrion, the Guardian Protector of the King.
Each book in the Street Rats of Aramoor series has focused on a different tribe of kids, and this being the final book in the series means that it is time for Wildfire to be front and center. However, the title is also a bit misleading as 80% of the book has nothing to do with Wildfire and it isn't until the very end of the book that it does. The majority of the story follows Ayrion, and a group of Lancers, as they perform a secret mission for the King. They are tasked with rescuing an ambassador and his wife that are both being held hostage by the rival kingdom of Cylmar. This mission takes them on a long, dangerous journey that consumes the majority of the book and Wildfire is not involved in any way until the mission is over and Ayrion returns to Aramoor. That's unfortunate but this is still an entertaining story that marks the transition point from this prequel series over to Michael Wisehart's main series, The Aldoran Chronicles, where Ayrion is no longer a street rat.
The Street Rats of Aramoor series has been slowly moving from one tribe of street kids to the next and this time around the focus is on Sandstorm. Ayrion's life is a busy one now that he is one of the chiefs of Hurricane, but things are about to get a lot more complicated for him. First it is Noph, the chief of Sandstorm, who sets up a meeting with Ayrion and the other leaders of Hurricane to discuss some potential big changes for them all, and then it is the King himself who insists that Ayrion join the Elondrian Lancers to receive further training. There aren't enough days in the week for Ayrion to do all that is being asked of him, and with plenty of enemies waiting to pounce on those he holds dear if he gets distracted, you just know something is going to go wrong...
The prior book in this series, Hurricane, ended with a large amount of chaos and now Ayrion finds himself trying to care for those that have been banished by the street rat tribes. These kids have no place else to go and no one to look out for them, so naturally Ayrion attempts to fill the void. But first things first, Ayrion must deal with those who betrayed him and that means the head of the Hurricane tribe needs to go. As a trained assassin, Ayrion has the skills to make someone disappear, even someone as well guarded as a tribe leader. Of course that will only make life harder for everyone as the balance of power amongst the five tribes relies on the fact that an odd number of votes in Guild meetings never results in a tie, but a missing leader means no vote for that tribe and gridlock. When matters can't be decided in the Guild meetings then tribes are essentially free to do as they will and Ayrion's outcasts are going to suffer even more. So once again the responsibility falls on Ayrion to find a solution.
After quite the series of adventures in the first book Ayrion finally arrives in Aramoor and it isn't long before he questions the wisdom of coming. He arrives quite confident about his prospects here, even though he has never been in such a large city with so many people, and he is looking forward to seeing all the wonders it has to offer. The advantages of his training as an Opakan warrior have allowed him to survive some pretty tight spots already but even his skills are no match for an overwhelming number of enemies. Not long after arriving in the city he receives a lesson in the strength of numbers after which he finds himself left for dead and robbed of all his possessions. Not only did he lose all of his money and clothes to a gang of street kids but he also lost his father's warrior ring which is something that can never be replaced. Welcome to Aramoor!
The Opakan are a race of contract killers with white eyes that live underground in the ruins of a forgotten city. They train from birth to be unrivaled warriors and it is whispered that if you ever do see the white eyes of an Opakan then that is likely the last thing you will ever see. Ayrion is a young Opakan who was born with a gift for magic as well as being a repeater, which means that he need only be taught something once for him to be able to flawlessly repeat the action. This makes him an incredible fighter and his skills should allow him to become the youngest Opakan ever to pass the warrior test, which is his goal. However, his astonishing skills also make him a target for the other young Opakans who resent his abilities and there are those with power who want to see him fail. This is a coming of age story that could easily been considered a YA book but it never insults your intelligence and it is easy to get wrapped up in discovering Ayrion's world from his limited perspective.