My rating: 4 of 5 stars
We're all locked in the same burning house. It benefits no one to fight while the flames rise.
- Baldezar Kern
The flames in the Aurelian Empire burn high and hot as the Civil War between the Imperialist and Independent Guilds rages on. All the while the Great Elders led by Kellerac plot and hold a crack in the sky wide open. Humanity needs all their defenders, but they're too busy with the semantics of what the Empire should be going forward.
I believed from the beginning that The Elder Empire had a grand story to be told. I've really enjoyed all of Will Wight's stories except for The Elder Empire, but I've finally enjoyed a book in the series with Of Kings and Killers. My interest was peeked with one little quote towards the end of Of Dawn and Darkness. This single quote made everything occuring much more significant and that was just the beginning.
From the beginning I've found the Sea Side ie Calder's crew the more interesting bunch to read about. Shera and her friends are fearsome, but somewhat strange and dull. Calder and his friends had all the aspects of a family. For all Calder's faults, he loves his crew and he'd do whatever he can for them. They prove time and time again that they'd do the same for him. Calder is an interesting yet flawed protagonist just like his crew. The story also did an excellent job cementing Izaria Woodsman's importance to the crew through flashbacks. In many ways it was as though he was still around even after the events in book 1.
The Great Elders are terror incarnate and I feel like it was glazed over too often rather than emphasized until Of Kings and Killers. The reader gets a good look at the hell scape the characters are trapped within.
I know Will Wight took a few years off between book 2 and 3, but he really brought a strong conclusion to The Elder Empire series with Of Kings and Killers. All the while leaving the door cracked to revisit the world, should he so wish.
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