Wednesday, July 4, 2018

As Iron Falls

As Iron Falls by Bryce O'Connor

The fourth and thus far latest The Wings of War book by Bryce O’Connor occurs the during the in-universe year following its predecessor, 862 v.S. (ver Syul), and opens with news that Adrion’s cousin died at the High Citadel in the battle that occurred at the end of the previous book. The main chapters commence with the albino and cycloptic Syrah Brahnt waking to children screaming in the Citadel, with she and the dragon-like atherian Raz I’Syul Arro taking their leave of the temple, entering a forest where a family talks of the new šef in Miropa, Blaeth, who is more ruthless than his predecessor Ergoin Sass.

Raz and Syrah ultimately make their ways to the end of the Arocklen Woods, en route to Ystréd, with mercenaries tailing them and being dealt with. The two eventually find themselves at the Laorin temple in Ystréd, with some in the city such as Na’zeem Ashur distraught at the presence of the individual they term “the Monster” and “the Dragon.” Raz receives injuries in the skirmish that occurs at the sanctuary, and quickly finds himself in the care of the Carver of Ystréd, Evalyn “Eva” Zall, when it is suggested that he and Syrah go out at sea via the vessel of Gahrt Argoan, the Sylgid.

At the beginning of the second part of the book is a chapter where Uhsula of the Undercaves has a vision of a sailing ship, likely the one Raz and Syrah ride, with storms testing the vessel and its crew; pirates too harass the Sylgid. It is said that Raz will be truly free in the Emperor’s Ocean, although he and Syrah agree to remain in their destination Perce. Some minor characters get the spotlight, such as Karan Brightneck, who toils as a slave in the city of Karesh Syl, where a series of battles occur towards the end of the book.

The slaves in the city yearn for freedom, with Raz supporting their insurrection, and battling one of the Tash’s men, Azzeki Koro, who proves a good match. Overall, the latest entry of the franchise is definitely enjoyable and mature, given some mature language and violence, although there is some minor confusion at some points, for instance the races of certain characters not explicitly specified or given reminders. Given the unresolved nature of the plot, furthermore, it’s clear that this is not the final entry in the series, with this reviewer definitely interested in reading its successor (or successors).

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