Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Light of Burning Shadows - Chris Evans

The second book in the Iron Elves series starts immediately where A Darkness Forged in Fire finishes. The Iron Elves are clearing the Shadow Monarch's sarka har and rakkes from the 7 islands in the Onmedan Sea before heading to the desert to pick up the original Iron Elves. Or so Major Konowa believes. It turns out there are other reasons to head for the desert, and other magics at play. For a second star is returning, and several powerful people would like control of it.

This book deals primarily with the fall out of the first book's actions. Those actions are only moderately explained, so you might want to reread the last few chapter of A Darkness before starting Light. The Iron Elves are not happy with the curse they're under or the power that comes with it. Private Alwyn Renwar has to deal with an artificial leg and the knowledge that death won't stop his pain. And when magical white fire seemingly sets one of their compatriots free of the curse, death suddenly doesn't seem such a high price to pay in order to achieve that freedom.

A lot of authors forget that a large part of the story, especially when it comes to battle, is the downtime between confrontations and how the soldiers deal with the stresses that come from a military lifestyle. Chris Evans brings all of this in nicely, allowing the characters to develop from caricature soldiers into real people.

The pacing is quick though at times it feels little is happening in the story as there's a lot more political intrigue than outright fighting. But it's a quick read and the ending has several surprises that will have you wishing the next book were already out.


Anonymous said...

I liked this book a lot! I can't wait for the next one (not sure when it's due to come out..not for a while I guess)

Jessica Strider said...

There's no listing for his next book yet. He mentions a title "Ashes Of A Black Frost" on his blog, in reference to receiving the first part of an advance...