Of Killers and Kings by Will Wight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Great Elders, humanity's ancient enemy, are always plotting. With a crack in the sky they are ready to move. The Independent Guilds are ready to make peace with the Imperial Guilds to stop the Great Elders from getting what they want, but who knows exactly what any of the Great Elders have planned...
Of Killers and Kings was a good story. I wish, as I have with the entire series, that it didn't go over the same information as it's parallel novel. It just removed too much of the intrigue when so much of what happens has already been told. It doesn't make the books into equals, it makes whichever book you read second into a companion novel that simply fills in gaps.
Shera has been made into the Guild Head of the Consultants against her will and she's bristling at the unwanted promotion. I have to say after Of Darkness and Dawn, I never imagined I could come to like her...but I have. Having her vessels, Bastion and Syphren, voices in her head made her more intriguing. I was happy to see her gain some balance.
I didn't really find any other consultants all that interesting, but the Regents Estyr Six, Jorin Curse Breaker, and Lorelei were great characters. The Emperor's companions were quite the group. Estyr all power and rough edges, Jorin the scientist, and Lorelei the heart. I would have loved more from them.
So this is book 6 of 6 for me in my reading of The Elder Empire. The series had a rocky start for me as I began with Of Darkness and Dawn, but I slowly went back to it. I read all three books of the Sea side because the greater world building elements fascinated me. Then I decided to go back to the Shadow side which I found I enjoyed more than I imagined after book 1. Will Wight created quite the terrifying world and situation along with people who fought to make the world better. I loved the greater view we gained on the Emperor and how we learned despite all his power, at his core he was a man who cared deeply for humanity as a whole. He also lived through a world full of horror that the inhabitants today couldn't relate to which made some of them view him as harsh. The Emperor simply knew what was a stake.
In the end I'm glad that I read the Elder Empire and I'd be happy to revisit it down the line, hopefully without parallel novels. I'd have to call it a tie between the Shadow and Sea side for which trilogy I enjoyed more.
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