In his cave, the Witch-King mused on the changing nature of time. At one level his enemy was randomness, the fickle chances that might disrupt his plans as they had in the past. But he could no longer rely on waiting for such perturbations to be smoothed out by the passage of time. His influence, even his very existence, had always remained unsuspected, but now Elaine and a handful of others not only knew about him but were intent on his destruction and suspected where his body was being maintained. They were unlikely to succeed, but he couldn’t entirely dismiss them, especially as Elaine was the only other magician who understood the deeper layers of magic and she was bonded to Johan who had yet to realise how powerful his own magic really was. Unable to leave his hiding place yet, he would have to rely on the new Emperor to stop her – a man permanently on the brink between sanity and madness, who was easily steered to unwittingly prepare the way for the Witch-King’s return.
Meanwhile Elaine, Dread, Daria and Johan were slowly making their way towards Ida in the hope that Queen Sacharissa would allow them access to the catacombs where Elaine was sure the lich was hiding.
This is the fourth and, apparently, last book in the Bookworm series by Christopher Nuttall. It is a good book with plenty of action and the writing is as good as always from this author. The book is a wee bit on the dark side though including the ending which, although it concludes the story and deals with the main bad guy, does leave the world in quite a bit of turmoil.
In the book we get to follow Elaine in her final journey to stop the Witch-King. Needless to say it is a perilous one which includes a number of assassination attempts while the Witch-King’s pawn ravages the countryside as well as a full scale siege with dragons an all. The odds against Elaine seems quite insurmountable.
It is an enjoyable adventure indeed. As I wrote above, Mr. Nuttall’s writing is the usual one, that is good. There is plenty of good action. I Especially liked the siege of Ida where Elaine and company finally get to fight back and fight back effectively much to Deferens surprise.
The book ends with a rather spectacular showdown against the Witch-King in the Golden city. Unfortunately it tears much of the city and the old institutions apart. What remains after the dust has settled is pretty much a world in shambles where much of the old ways are gone forever. These kind of endings always saddens me a bit even though the bad guy got a whooping.
Nevertheless it was a enjoyable read and a good ending to the series.