For starters, Brian, why on earth did you choose to dive into the “let’s resurrect the hero(ine) trope”? OK, I really do try to keep from giving away any spoilers, but that one just got me.
The focus of the story has shifted back to Dragonhold once more. But, there are others who wound up involved as well. Characters you would have sworn were rakes and skirt chasers have suddenly found love, and others who you would have sworn were the wrong type to remain alone have found themselves pushed out by themselves with no one there to help them.
The island of Godsfist proves itself to be much more complex than I think anyone would have imagined, and new pieces are discovered every time someone turns around, yet through it all there is a sense of impending doom and an epic clash of monumental proportions. Perhaps it is the gamer in me, or perhaps it is because of something else, but I get the feeling that no one wants to see what is coming, but no one will be able to turn away. Gripping, fast paced, and a roller coaster ride of new discovery, rediscovery, and sheer frustration at the character’s lack of knowledge or cooperation bring this book into it’s own type of spotlight.
As with any good book, the good guys keep getting stronger, better, faster, but the bad guys don’t become any less opaque, unknown, or irritating. Now, however, you get to see what appears to be the mastermind behind most of what has gone wrong in Caitrin’s life, and the lives of everyone else with any type of power – be it magical, political, or religious.
Artifacts are lost, found, gained, drained, replenished, but never destroyed. The box canyon that Dragonhold has turned into proves to be about as solid as a block of Swiss Cheese, you just have to know which mouse hole to run down, and when to jump.
Though Brian wound up treading on one of my least favorite plot elements, it was handled very well, and does not detract from the overall tale that is being told. For better or worse, for this book, I will happily affix a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It really is that good in my opinion.