New Release Review: The Servants of the Storm by Jack Campbell

servants of the stormThe Servants of the Storm by Jack Campbell
Series: The Pillars of Reality #5
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Release Date: Jul 1, 2016
Audiobook Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews

A Storm that will wreck a world threatens Dematr. Only Mari, one of the Mechanics who control all technology through their Guild, has a chance to stop it. She and Mage Alain have survived numerous attempts to kill them and have gained many more followers, but the Storm of chaos, born of centuries of enslavement, grows ever closer.

Mari leads an army now. She and Alain must fight together to bind back the Broken Kingdom and build a force strong enough to defeat the might of the Great Guilds. But the Storm has many Servants who seek to preserve or gain personal power or wealth, or fear the New Day that Mari seeks to bring to the world.

And Mari knows that victory will mean nothing if the precious knowledge brought long ago to their world is destroyed. In order to save it, Alain and Mari will have to pierce through the heart of their enemies’ power and confront once more a place of ancient nightmare.

D.G.’s Rating: 4.5 stars = A-

The Servants of the Storm was a sad book for me. Not because anything tragic happened, but because both Mari and Alain lost their innocence. It was one thing knowing they had to save the world but now that they are openly fighting the Great Guilds, their responsibilities are staggering. Mari’s decisions directly impact the lives of millions of people, while Alain is, in turn, the last stand between Mari and all the people who want her dead. There are so many assassins after Mari that poor Alain probably sleeps with one eye open! But what makes this book the saddest is that Mari is waging war in two fronts: fighting her enemies but also people who should have been on her side. Prejudice, fear, greed are all conspiring against the future Mari wants to bring about. It was so disheartening that if the fate of the world wasn’t at stake, I’m sure Mari would have felt like giving up.

At this point, everybody knows that Mari is the daughter of Jules, the one prophesied to overthrow the Great Guilds. She has an army, a general under her command and hundreds of mechanics and mages who have been deserting to fight at her side. The Great Guilds are trying to kill her, sending dozens of assassins after her. If the Guilds succeed, their cause will be lost and the Storm of Chaos will destroy their world.

As usual, there was a lot of action and adventure in this book. Mari and Alain undertake a daring, hazardous mission but this time they are not alone. Using new (experimental) technology, they travel silently through enemy territory, confronting Imperial soldiers, with Alain committing some expert deceptions (or as he would call it “manipulating the world illusion”) to get out of tight spots. This trip was so dangerous, that I had my heart on my throat the whole time. In the previous books, the optimist in me always knew they would come out unscathed but as I see how this war has changed them both, I’m not so sure anymore. I mean, I’ll know they will ultimately win but I wonder what will be the cost to their souls?

The events in this book point to a very exciting series finale. There are still lots of unanswered questions from previous books, specially as it relates to mage powers. We know that Alain has grown more and more powerful and he knows he’s finding a new wisdom (the “power of love” and all that) but he still doesn’t know exactly how it works. I get the idea that we will find out in spectacular fashion in the last book of the series.

Series Reading Order
1. The Dragons of Dorcastle
2. The Hidden Masters of Marandur
3. The Assassins of Altis
4. The Pirates of Pacta Servanda
5. The Servants of the Storm
6. The Wrath of the Great Guilds

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