Published: December 10, 2019
Publisher: Orbit Books
Series: Masters & Mages #3
Pages: 464 (Paperback)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A young mage-in-training is unwittingly pulled into a violent political upheaval, in the third book of this epic fantasy trilogy by Miles Cameron, author of the Traitor Son Cycle.
Aranthur and his friends have come together across different continents and realms with one purpose: to strike back against the forces that have torn a hole in the heavens and threaten to rip the world apart.
Ultimate victory will require enemies to trust one another, old foes to fight together, spies to reveal the truth, and steadfast allies to betray long-corrupt rules. But will Aranthur, a twenty-year-old student, really be able to bring them all together? And what will they do when their plans inevitably fall to pieces?
Miles Cameron’s new trilogy has been thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end, featuring magic, fate, and a feeling I have previously only gotten after reading Guy Gavriel Kay’s books. It was like… wistfulness.
Bright Steel was a terrific conclusion and it was a magnificent coming of age story. Aranthur has gone from a hopeful student to a soldier to one of the most influential people in the kingdom and a powerful mage to boot. UGH IT WAS GREAT. And the best part is, he wasn’t some perfect Mary-Sue type character the whole time. He messed up, he asked for help, and he nearly got himself killed countless times but darn if he doesn’t have a lucky streak! Those surrounding him were strongly written secondary characters. I couldn’t help but to love Dahlia, Drako, Aranthur’s demon-wife, and so many other of the supporting characters to bits. They were fascinating. Most were honorably, and this whole series speaks much of friendship, teamwork, and doing what is right, but without beating you over the head with it like so many books tend to do.
The finale was really quite something, though things came together just a bit too quickly and conveniently for something that was a world threatening crisis. I mean, not everything has to be dragged out for hundreds of pages, but it really did wrap up neatly with a bow on top considering THERE WAS A RENT IN THE FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE AND MAGIC WAS POURING THROUGH. All that aside, it was a very satisfying conclusion and I would 10/10 read this entire series again if I didn’t have a pile of other books calling to me.
This is definitely a series worth reading and it’s somewhat more accessible than the Traitor Son Cycle which is beastly long and each book takes me forever to get through. It has everything – intense battles, romance, dastardly plots to take over the kingdom, epic world building, diverse peoples, a dragon, powerful female characters…. I mean, if you’re looking for it, this book’s probably got it. Just go ahead and binge read all three books. It’ll be a fine way to start 2020.