Pyr, Jun 9 2015, $18.00
The Eldrennai created the Aern as slave warriors to defend the master race against the feral Zaur. Over seemingly endless time, the Aern eventually became freed but also remained Grudgebearers sworn to their oath to protect the Eldrennai.
Six centuries of peace between the races end when war breaks out between the Zaur and Eldrennai; at a time when the latter’s oathbearer defenders rage at the recent affronts by their former masters. Whereas the Zaur remains with the same leadership; Rae’en replaces her late father Kholster as the Aern First knowing the Oath no longer exists with her father’s passing enabling her to avenge his death against the Eldrennai; who also has a new leader Prince Rivvek if he completes the Test of Four. Each race seeks outside allies to strengthen their position with hostilities heating up between them.
The second Grudgebearer science fiction tale is a terrific thriller that augments the already superbly constructed Lewis realm with additional profound layers. The cultural and political interactions within a race and between the races and other parties make for an outstanding middle novel though it behooves newbies to start with the first act (see Grudgebearer) to better understand the grudges and oaths of a complex world.