Following last year’s Court of Broken Knives I had high expectations for this book, and I have to say I was not disappointed. As with the first book in the series, The Tower of Living and Dying may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you enjoyed the first you’re going to love the second.
Damn, but this book is good. It’s another one that reads like pretty much every D&D game I’ve ever played in, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn the author worked out the plot by simply rolling on a random encounter table for every chapter.
Having thoroughly enjoyed Jen Williams’ first trilogy, The Copper Cat, I came to this book fairly sure it was going to be an enjoyable read, and I’m pleased to say I was right about that. This is one hell of a book, and a more than excellent start to a trilogy. Unlike The Copper Cat, which consisted of three more-or-less standalone novels, this is very definitely the first in an ongoing storyline.
This is a fun book. It reminded me so much of some of my earlier forays into tabletop role-playing, with the mismatched group of heroes crawling through a dungeon and inadvertently unleashing the big bad at the beginning and then going through a number of minor adventures to piece together the macguffin they need to defeat the big bad at the end of the book. I swear I could almost hear the dice clattering across the table at times.
What can I say?
Embers of War is one hell of a book and one I’d definitely recommend to fans of space opera. The characters are well-rounded and captivating, especially Trouble Dog who steals the show in the final act as far as I’m concerned.