Publisher: Angry Robot
Publishing Date: April 2017
Publishers Description: After Detan retrieves the renowned engineer Nouli from the clutches of the empire, he returns his aunt’s city to find it under siege by Thratia’s army. With Nouli’s help, they turn back the tide – until imperial forces show up, prepared to hammer Thratia’s army against the anvil of the city’s walls. Worse yet, the imperial advance is aided by an elite force of deviant magic users.
Review: Detan is back, more confused than ever along with Ripka, Tibs and Honey. Once again their existence is threatened by Thratia and her weird torturous minions.
I am not really going to expound on the various nuances of reviewing, such as; story line, character development etc. It’s got all that. We know the players and the general rundown of the plot. Brevity is what is needed in this third installment of the Scorched Earth Series.
I really think this author is trying to find her voice as evidenced in each novel. In Steal The Sky, there were moments of pure writing brilliance that I was left awed by the talent. In part two, Break The Chains, I sensed a gradual declination of not talent but of creative direction in developing a continuing story line. In Inherit The Flame, there was a panicked fall from elegant writing into verbosity and stilted dialogue combined with a dismal story line. There is much too-ing and fro-ing within the confines of this world without the benefit of real tangible movement. This lack of movement trended in parallel with the planning of a ho-hum coup d’etat.
Overall, the writing was not simple and elegant (like the first novel) but rather trended towards the patterned and mundane. “shivers running down spines” and other clichéd phrases littered the pages. Towards the end you begin to see the brilliance re-emerge, but sadly it is too late. A real disappointment for such an aspiring talent.