The third book the R.K.Lander’s Silvan series continues the story, this time with a bit more time given to what’s happening on Thargodén’s side of things.
Fel’annár has begun dealing with the truth about his origins in the second book. Now, he faces several dilemmas about what role in the world he should play. He’s not too willing to jump into the plans that are being prepared by Prince Handir – even though these plans would help the very people who raised him. After all, there’s a risk that he’d be just another puppet and possibly lose his dream of being a warrior. The second book also brought the death of one major character that was close to him, in a way that raised further questions and may endanger the plans to disrupt the attempts of Alpine purists to take over the woods.
In the meantime, King Thargodén is preparing a meeting of Silvan and Apline representatives, in hopes of bridging the gap that grew during the five decades he spent being a shadow of his former self. The momentum of things, however, may not be so easy to stop, and the Alpine elites won’t give up their dreams of wealth and conquest. Something the King will see for himself soon, and realize that to stop the blatant racism may be a harder task than he’d expected.
Both sides – Fel’annár’s and Thargodén’s – use this to show some of the cultural differences between the Alpines and the Silvans. There’s another arrival – a female master healer, a half-breed that had faced her own struggles in her family, tied to the ongoing struggle. And then there’s the cryptic message about a “beautiful monster” looming somewhere, as well as the mysterious message left by a deceased friend.
Fel’annár’s growing skills will make him a target, but he also gains some degree of positive attention – starting a romantic arch for him, which I was glad to see (if you follow me for a while, you know I have a thing for romantic subplots and see them as something to show a different side of a character). Of course, that part won’t be easy. Less so when Fel’annár is given a chance – under not-so-easy conditions – to be trained in the forgotten martial art. All of that while dealing with the plotting of his enemies and the changes in his life that come with Thargodén’s proclamation from the second book.
When it seems that things may be calming down enough for Fel’annár and his friends to make way towards King Thargodén’s court, the mysterious “beautiful monster” attacks, along with a swarm of deviants, and the plans are delayed again. However, the book still ends with the group preparing for the journey, even though delayed by their recovery.
This time, I think I’d not have to round up that much to keep the 90%. I don’t know if I’m getting used to the author’s style, or there was fewer places where the multi-PoV style was unclear, but I didn’t have to really look back this time. Also, the romance subplot is suggestive but quite tame (on Amazon, the book is marked as 14+). I also expected that the third book will end, in football terms, half-time break – some soft semi-end where I could take a break and wait for the sixth book before going for the books 4 and 5. That is not the case, so I’m going onwards for now.