Tor, Jan 2002, 27.95, 492 pp.
The Emperor Leonid's death causes a succession crisis that sends the Magravandias Empire on the verge of civil war as conflicting elements squabble over the throne. The Firemages have their own puppet they want to succeed Leonid. Others believe opening the WAY OF LIGHT will point to the truth. Desperate to avoid genocide, Dragon Lord Valraven Palindrake reluctantly supports Prince Gastern to ascend to the crown. His decision delays a war, but the rivalry remains hot and any stumble will turn the empire into a sea of red.
Valraven's sea-wife Varencienne, worrying about the future of her adopted people, begins an odyssey to confer with her mother, Empress Tatrini, but fails to reach her destination. Instead dark magus, enemies of her husband, take her prisoner. These malevolent beings' plans do not care about body counts only the success of their endeavor. Valraven must find a way to save his spouse and his world even if he must go through the dark to obtain THE WAY OF THE LIGHT.
The final novel in Storm Constantine's powerful Chronicles of Magravandias fantasy trilogy, THE WAY OF THE LIGHT, is a thrilling tale. The story line stays true to its predecessors (SEA DRAGON HEIR and THE CROWN OF SILENCE) while allowing the key cast to grow as major events have impacted them. The vividly described story line is loaded with action that enables the reader to feel the empire is genuine, but it is the strong personality-driven cast that makes this tale and the other two books worth reading by epic fantasy fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner