Konowa Swift Dragon has been living alone in the forest after being discharged and drummed out of the military for killing a Viceroy. It didn’t matter that the Viceroy needed killing. His entire regiment was banished in disgrace far from home. He’s just trying to learn to live in a world he hates.
Konowa was not your typical elf that communed with nature. He was born with a black spot. Most of these children are taken out to the field to die but many are not. They are called Iron Elves and are thought to be easily swayed to the Shadow Monarch, an evil magical monarch.
When Visyna, an elfkyna, finds him to give him the news that he has been called back to reestablish the Iron Elves Regiment, he’s not sure what to think. He does know that he’s attracted to the elfkyna that surprises him. Maybe he just has been in the forest too long.
The regiment he thought he was going to lead isn’t what he gets. They didn’t return the Iron Elves but recruited humans and others to fill the ranks of the regiment. Not only that but Konowa wasn’t to lead it but the Prince would be and Konowa would be his second. This would be find but following the Prince could get them all killed especially when creatures thought to be extinct suddenly aren’t!
This is a fairly long book that takes an interesting look at the battle between good and evil. While the good and evil sides are fairly easy to identify, there are lots of characters that are shades of gray; neither all good nor all evil. Some just plain can’t be placed in their camp as they follow their own agenda which has nothing to do with anyone elses.
The main characters are very well portrayed and have a lot of depth. Konowa is torn between duty and desire. He knows what he sees as his duty, complete his mission and return home with his beloved Iron Elves intact. He also knows that he desires Visyna who wants the empire’s troops out of Elfkyna lands. She sees them as destroyers, not protectors. There are also surprise visits from Konowa’s parents.
The world that is presented to the reader is very complex. There are several different races, each with their own characteristics and beliefs. Many of these beliefs become important as the book goes on. There are several people or groups of people who want a Star that has appeared. Each culture has tales and stories about the Stars. However gets it first will try to lay claim to it and many will die trying.
This is not a book that the normal reader is going to finish in an afternoon for a couple of reasons. The one most obvious is the length of this book is over 600 pages. The other is the complexity of the story. This isn’t a story that you’re going to be able to skim through and get all the subtle things going on. I’m sure I missed some things and I know I had to stop and really think about others.
Yet, as long as this book is, the story couldn’t have been shortened. There are things happening throughout it keeping your interest. However, I was ready for it to end when it did though the story is obviously not finished. It was a good resting place.
A complex fantasy world with a variety of races each with the same immediate goal though for many different reasons come together in a interesting story. There are several characters that spiked my imagination and I can’t wait to see them in future books.
Find a comfortable spot and start reading. You’ll soon find yourself in a steamy land until She finds you.