I have finally finished the Sundering trilogy. Overall, I think that it was a well-written series, and I actually liked this book better than the other two that preceded it. Maybe it is because Caledor seems less dark than the other two main characters, and I’m one of those people that doesn’t appreciate flawed characters as much as others.
The book starts off around the time when the cults are rising to power within Ulthuan. I briefly establishes the power conflict between Caledor and Nagarythe. in the elven colonies Both are very proud regions of Ulthuan, with Caledor’s power mainly coming from their dragons and Nagarythe’s experience gained through centuries of fighting.
Imrik is the main character of the book and is brother to the king of Caledor as is the main general of their armies. He’s not really much of a diplomat as he doesn’t enjoy all of the political maneuvering that goes on. However, his brother ends up sending him to Tiranoc for the council about the cults.
Most of this up to the slaughter at the Shrine of Asuryan has been covered in the previous books, it is just presented from the Caledor perspective and is used to help establish Imrik’s reluctance to become involved in the politics of Ulthuan.
As is present in the Warhammer history, Imrik is hunting with his cousin in Chrace when the slaughter occurs. Some of the princes at the shrine manage to survive and decide that Imrik is their best hope as the new Phoenix King. He reluctantly accepts the role and changes his name to Caledor.
Most of the book deals with the civil war on Ulthuan, with various battles being fought, including many with dragon riders present at the battle. The siege of Lothern, the sacking of Avelorn, the Everqueen severing her land (Gaean Vale) from the mainland of Ulthuan, the enslavement of Cothique, etc, eventually culminating in a large battle toward the end between Malekith’s army and the rest of Ulthuan. Eventually, it all culminates in the druchii trying to overload the vortex to bring the daemons back into the world
I thought that the story was very interesting and the battles were entertaining to read. Caledor definitely had some hard decisions to make as Phoenix King and it well represented the conflict for the princes of Ulthuan between protecting their land as opposed to the entire island (and possibly future of the elves). For me, there was a good balance between the action/battle part of the books and non-combat events and I can’t really remember a dull or boring part of the book.
I think that the book and the two preceding it are good books and definite must-reads for any High Elf player. They should be able to be enjoyed by anybody interested in Warhammer or even just fantasy books.
Historically, I have listed any complaints that I have about the book at the end, but I am not thinking of too many. There is the ever-present complaint of the maps for the book being wrong, but by the end of this book, it is actually right. It’s too bad that they didn’t put more effort into identifying the locations mentioned in the book.
A ‘Dramatis Personae’ section at the end of the book addresses my previous complaint about no glossary, but be warned, there are spoilers present if you read back there. It will tell you if somebody dies or turned out to be a druchii. Also, it wasn’t something that I had thought of until the end of this book, but the series didn’t use very obscure vocabulary (which I have run into before with Black Library novels). Maybe that is due to the author, but it was nice to not have to deal with that.
Thanks for reading! The next book that I read will probably be Sword of Caledor, but it will probably be a while before I start that since I won’t buy it until the new High Elf book is released in May (assuming the rumors are true).