cover image Reaping the Aurora

Reaping the Aurora

Joshua Palmatier. DAW, $26 (464p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1328-6

The final installment of Palmatier’s Erenthrall trilogy picks up after the events of Threading the Needle, with the survivors of the Shattering attempting to rebuild in the wake of that civilization-destroying event. Now, the utter destabilization of the magical ley lines threatens to consume everything, and it’s up to Prime Wielder Kara Tremain to try and heal the distortions. However, she and her allies, including the increasingly powerful healer Morrell, are beset by enemies from all sides, from the resurgent Kormanley terrorists and the vengeful Gorrani army to the charismatic Father Dalton and his prophecies of doom. As the Needle, where the few survivors have sheltered, erupts into all-out war, Kara’s alliance hatches a desperate plan to save the world. Palmatier juggles a large cast and myriad plot threads as he brings this postapocalyptic fantasy saga to a close; naturally, the stakes are immense, the body count considerable, and the action intense. Unfortunately, the constant tension and large-scale conflicts seem to overshadow the worldbuilding and character development of the earlier books, and the ending, though satisfying, feels hollow. This is a solid but underwhelming conclusion. Agent: Joshua A. Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (Aug.)