Emperor of Ruin
I didn’t read the first book in this series, Ashes of the Sun, and I’m sorry about it. I may well go back and read it later, at some point. I liked the middle book, Blood of the Chosen, and this final book in the trilogy is even better. It’s not perfect, but it’s been a while since a new book drew me so well into its world.
The strength of the books is manifold: the interesting and varied magic system (never really too well explained, but well enough to keep it interesting), the epic scope, the ancient artifacts, the relatively small set of well-balanced key characters, and the deft use of humor throughout. Key among those for me were the magic/engineering and the engaging characters.
Wexler avoids some character predictability, but the plot resolution is evident a hundred pages or so out. That didn’t keep it from being interesting, but I thought he missed a trick regarding one of the key arcana. Generally, with a bit of fudging for the fairly numerous fight scenes (Gyre in particular is constantly coming up against enemies he can barely defeat, then defeating them), the plot and world work well. I was disappointed not to get a little more of a warm and fuzzy wrapup of some elements, though arguably the ending that is provided is more credible.
Some of the book’s infrastructure is less effective. In ebook form, the included map remains useless. I struggled to make sense of the ‘previously…’ wrapup in the second book, but blamed it on not having read the first. This time, the ‘previouly…’ referred almost exclusively to the second book, which I just recently read – and I still couldn’t make head or tail of it. It’s largely a waste of space. This time around, I also wasn’t too taken with the glossary. Last time, it was mildly useful. This time, I skipped it. And the covers are pretty generic. But that’s all incidental.
I encourage you to try this series. It’s a clear step above most new books I’ve seen.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.