The 6th and final book in this fantasy/real world series has the author not only telling tall tales, but also a cautionary tale reflecting the cyclical nature of history – and an uncanny reflection of modern day political madness. The theme of East versus West with the battleground in the middle is prevalent as the Jade Emperor and the Western Emperor decide they both want to stretch their boundaries, with the land of Inda being the prize. It is a story filled with irony as the three sons of a minor Inda rajah choose different paths for their lives as the Jade Empire begins it’s conquest. The irony doesn’t stop there, but I will not say more about that, I will let the reader enjoy the unfolding tension and unexpected developments without any spoilers from me.
In the many books I have read by Mr. Turney, I was always blown away with his mastery of description, and he doesn’t disappoint in this one. An example is the telling of the monsoon season and the effects it has on the land and on the two armies facing each other across a vast plain they cannot cross. The differences in the three cultures, the differing approaches to the military; the differences in religion; the differences in the ruling hierarchies – all are exquisitely told.
This has been an exciting and thoroughly entertaining ride through The Tales of the Empire, and I highly recommend it. 4.8 stars