cover image The Bone Shard War

The Bone Shard War

Andrea Stewart. Orbit, $29 (624p) ISBN 978-0-316-54151-0

The impressive final installment of Stewart’s engrossing Drowning Empire trilogy (after The Bone Shard Emperor) puts Emperor Lin Sukai at her most head-spinning crossroads yet. Two years after the battle at Gaelung, Lin is doing everything she can to hold together a crumbling empire. A continued freeze on the mining of witstone means the supply’s nearly gone, a disease called bog cough rapidly spreads among the populace, and the cure runs scarce. As revolutionary sentiment spreads and the Shardless Few renew their assault on Lin’s reign, the power-hungry Ragan joins forces with Nisong to conspire for the throne. Against this tumultuous backdrop, Lin must put her future ambitions aside to focus on maintaining power in the present. Stewart does a masterful job juggling conflict and intrigue on multiple fronts, and she makes the fight scenes especially riveting with subtle character work interspersed throughout the action. This un-put-downable epic sends the series out with a bang. Agent: Juliet Mushens, Mushens Entertainment (Apr.)