The fifth book in The Silvan series continues a sprawling fantasy story – and even the fall of one major enemy at the end of book four doesn’t make things much easier.
The fourth book, which I read a few months ago, had seen the demise of the secondary enemy – well, at least its leader. But the prejudice and feeling of superiority spread over decades isn’t going to vanish just because their leader was defeated. Not when many powerful underlings remain, even though some only in prison.
The trust lost by the Silvan populace is damaged by decades of racism and neglect – and fixing that isn’t an easy process. It falls to Fel’annár and a handful of Silvan leaders to bring their people together and take a leap of fatih, believe the time will change for the better. All of that while the true enemy musters and time is short. The elven army is in sore need of more fighters, and the Silvans, many of which left due to the poor treatment received, aren’t too eager to come back.
While the efforts to reform the structures of the kingdom and the military are underway, some remaining purists take a couple of attempts to sabotage it. And Fel’annár, already stretched for time, needs to take a journey to help him uncover his purpose, a journey that proves more dangerous than he expected. And it gives him only cryptic hints about his purpose. There’s also some time given to the royal family and reunions that bring some characters together, though some need time to accept the new situation (and newly discovered relatives).
Around half-way through the story, the restoration is somewhat complete, with negotiations in a decent place and promises of a better future. But the enemy gives the elves no chance to enjoy it, and a mad rush to defend the Silvan lands ensures, with the new structure of the army still being in its early stages.
In the wake of destruction left by the enemy – an army led by two of the three remaining nim’uán – the story leads to a major showdown that tests many of the characters, gives some more than just hints about their purpose, and the battle itself uses the heroic sacrifice story element quite well (though details would be an obvious spoiler).
Getting back to the story after almost 10 months was surprisingly easy, and I’ll definitely soon continue with the sixth – and last – book that came out a couple of days ago.