Rise of the Blood Royal
Del Rey, Jan 2008
The hundred years of the brutal War of Attrition between Rustannica and Shashida continues with no sign of either side abating the hostilities. In fact if anything the atrocities are getting worse as formidable ambitious beings see opportunities to grab power.
Malevolent wizard Gracchus Junius tries to convince the insolvent Emperor Vespasian of Rustannica that if they combine their magic and use lethal taboo enchantments they can end the war by turning Shashida into rubble. That would allow them to replenish their fortunes by taking their defeated enemy’s gold.
At the same time that Vespasian considers Junius offer, in the land of Eutracia, two talented but novice mages, Prince Tristan and Princess Shailiha are studying how to control their talent. They believe they will end the War of Attrition, but must learn how to use "subtle matter" and locate the hidden Azure Sea that leads to Shashida.
This is a terrific ending to The Destinies of Blood and Stone trilogy (see March into Darkness and SAVAGE MESSIAH) as Robert Newcomb’s implications and applications to our world is frightening. Amazingly even with a somewhat big picture perspective the vast cast in the three prime lands is fully developed. Newcomers need to read the previous novels or they will get lost most likely in Rustannica.