Well written. Another great Sullivan novel.
There were some different races, creatures and tribes in this novel. Dwarves (Belgruntians?), Elves (Fhrey), and Rhunes (Humans). You mostly follow a ragtag band comprised from a mix of them.
There were some great analogies. I saw a lot in the writing that reflects the fears/struggles of American life. The Fhrey perspective of Mawyandule reminded me very much of a person facing/being part of a racist group. Interestingly, this book became available to me just after the recent Charlottsville standoff. So the author is writing what issues are relevant (maybe even prophetically so), but within his fantasy realm.
Some of his analogies and metaphors are magnificent. When characters would voice what happens to a leaf after it falls into water, or maybe a caterpillar's transformation, it is done so elegantly and it blends perfectly into the story. He chose some good ones too. Even just the short simple ones, like a character wanting to strangle a dwarf with it's own beard. Sullivan has made what would normally be mundane parts of story into rich atmospheric beauty, keeping you very entertained.
In this prequel, you begin to see pieces of lore that became later discovered in the original trilogy. It was really awesome to see how things came to be.
I was expecting more battle scenes. I really enjoyed Sullivan's combat writing and how he explained the techniques and strategic understandings of the battlefield. Though there was less of that in this novel, it certainly didn't mean there was lacking of excitement.
One point I could criticize most was a few small plot holes. So, basically Persefone and her group are traveling south to unite the Rhunes and to build defenses against the Fhrey. What didn't make sense is that characters would leave from the home front responsibility to go on this fun quest in the Dherg land. I still enjoyed this part of the story, but I can't see how any of the characters rationalized that thinking, let alone how it all worked out. Though, I don't know...the Rhunes were pretty dumb.
The ending gave me goosebumps and had me welling up. Good job Michael J. Sullivan. I look forward to the sequels.