The Ashioi-the Lost Ones-have come home in the prophesied cataclysmic event that has reunited their lands, long lost in the aether, with their homeland on Earth. In this, the sixth book (after The Gathering Storm) of the Crown of Stars series, Elliott nearly brings readers the conclusion of this massive and engrossing series about the clash of religious fervor, ethnic strife and magic. The Ashioi's return coincides with the murder of King Henry (supposedly by his bastard son Sanglant), and sorceress Liath's disruption of Queen Anne's attempt to use the ""crowns"" to repel the Ashioi once again into the aether. The resulting chaos produces volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, foul winds, dust and ash haze that covers the land and clogs the air for months. (This is not, however, the very end of the story, as promised in volume five.Volume seven is on its way-Elliot's story ballooned to 430,000 words and was thus was broken into two books.) This is a great series for those who love big, convoluted plots with a huge cast of characters, but Elliot's latest installment will baffle readers who haven't slogged through preceding volumes.