Chester, Deborah: Shadow War (Ruby Throne II) (1997)

Cover art by Dan Craig Cover design by Rita Frangie
Cover art by Dan Craig
Cover design by Rita Frangie

Shadow War is book no 2 of the Ruby Throne trilogy. You need to read Reign of Shadows first in order to get the necessary back story.

The Ruby Throne trilogy is assuredly a “hero’s tale”. For the hero to evolve, certain trials must be survived. Life-threatening lessons always seem to be par for the course. By the time Shadow War begins both Caelan and Elandra have survived their share of difficulties and are about to face even more danger. As with Reign of Shadows neither has met the other person yet, although Caelan has heard of Elandra.

Elandra’s half-sister Bixia has disappeared completely. After her passionate threat of destroying Elandra, I had thought that we would see her again. All we get as a reminder of Elandra’s old life is a scene between Hecati and Elandra.

Caelan is now the property of Prince Tirhin.

Elandra is on her way to becoming Empress Sovereign.

Although their lives are incredibly different, there is one strong similarity. Both Elandra and Caelan depend upon another person’s approval to stay alive. Both Caelan and Elandra admire their captors yet worry about the control their rulers have over their lives.

For Elandra there is real hope of gaining some control. Kostimon is training her to take on the duties and privileges of Empress Sovereign so that he need not rule alone during his last years alive. Whether he actually means to go through with this has yet to be seen.

Caelan admires Prince Tirhin and thinks the prince holds him in special regard. Perhaps this regard is great enough that Caelan might win his freedom. But lets face it. As long as Caelan holds more value to Prince Tirhin as a slave, that is what Caelan will remain – no matter what words the prince uses to maintain Caelan’s illusions. I guess the question then becomes: How long is Caelan going to allow himself to be fooled by Prince Tirhin’s promises?

Initially, letting go of our illusions can hurt more than the pain caused by those illusions.


My review of Reign of Shadows

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