Tor, Jul 2004, 27.95, 624 pp.
When his country needed him, Alucius joined the army with the rank of overcaptain and almost single handily won the battle facing overwhelming arms. As soon as he was no long needed, he left the army and returned to Iron Stem where he and his wife Wendra herded sheep and had a baby.
The Ifriti, beings from another world who drain the life force of a planet and eventually destroy it, are back. They have stirred up enough unrest so that Lanchrona is besieged on all sides.
The Lord Protector asks Alucius to lead Northern and Southern Guards to put down the revolt in Hyalt. He finds the prophet who is leading the revolt is Ifriti-possessed; Alucius cuts off its life force. He next goes to Stronghold to prevent the troops of the Regent from overpowering loyal troops and taking more Lanachrona land. Alucius and his troops are to destroy the deadly spear throwers while the regular army deals with the enemy force. Alucius is victorious and is rewarded by becoming the colonel of the Northern Guard but he learns that the Ifriti are setting up portals to drain and destroy his world's lifeforce.
Alucius and his wife have the talent to stop them if they can find and destroy the scepters that enables travel between the two worlds.
This is the third and final book of the Corean Chronicles. All the questions of the previous two books (LEGACIES and DARKNESS) are finally answered and all the loose ends are tied up. The protagonist is a hero for going into battle against an enemy that is more powerful than he is. His love for his wife adds a romantic dimension that humanizes the larger than life champion.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner