Ten years on and war is still raging. The human cost in the fight for peace has been appalling and there is still more destruction to come. Darrow’s old friends are tiring of war, they want a negotiated peace, but Darrow knows this is a false peace, a trap. As Darrow fights on, he finds himself needing to ally himself with the devil for the greater good.
As Darrow’s struggle unfolds, a young Red girl fights for her survival and questions whether the freedom her people were promised was of any value. Her story becomes entwined with that of Darrow’s family, whilst Darrow’s enemies regroup against him and plan his destruction.
This is a violent and emotional story. It is always difficult picking up the next book in a series after a break and it took me a while to remember who everyone was and how they fit together. However, the book has a helpful and much needed introduction with information of the Dramatis Personae to help prod your memory when needed.
The story does not flinch from the horror of war and it certainly is not for the squeamish. However, the horror is balanced by characters who are real, with human failings and emotions. Darrow is no god – he makes mistakes and misjudgements. However, in his humanity, he is also a father and a husband and a man who wants to make things right. My allegiance remained with him, although as the story twisted and turned I did find myself, like his people, questioning his decisions and his actions.
By the end of the book I was exhausted: a reflection on how compelling I found the story and the characters. I think I finished with a clearer idea of who I trusted, but I could well be wrong and I will need to wait for the next book in the series, Dark Age, which is due for publication in September 2018 in the UK.