PYR, Jan 1 2011, $17.00
Xetesk began the open hostilities when the College assaulted depleted Julatsa, who lost so much in people and treasure during the Wesmen wars (see Chronicles of the Raven trilogy). The other two colleges Lystern and Dordover join the fray as they see opportunities to defeat both rivals, but must figure out what to do with what remains of the Raven, which saved the land and the Colleges.
As the Balaian continent to the west is aflame after a foolish alliance with Xetesk, Lord Tessaya of the Paleon Tribes rallies his Wesmen warriors under a battle cry of avenging their defeat. Lord of the Mount, Dystran knows his Xetesk faces a horrible defeat at the hands of the western barbarians who he believes stupidly ban magic. Desperate, he uses the forbidden horrific dimensional magic as nothing will stand in his way of being world ruler even insanely at the cost of the world. He rips asunder the dimensional barriers leaving his world open for a demonic genocide. With no dragons and not at full strength, Raven is the last hope to prevent soul cleansing by the invading demon horde.
The third Legends of the Raven fantasy (see Shadowheart and Elf Sorrow) is a terrific final tale as grim and eerie as the previous ones. Action-packed and fast-paced, fans will relish this deep tale with a message for leaders to lead for the benefit of all and not just to grab more power at the cost of others (think of the Senator whose sole vision for the country is to defeat Obama in 2012 by fiddling as Nero to stonewall the president). James Barclay provides a great ending to his profound two sagas as all of the books focus on the abuse and misuse of power in what are some of the best political military thrillers in years.