Book four of Crown of Stars follows the usual practice of giving time to four major plot threads. The new major character this time is Adica, the Hollowed One of a tribe that is part of an effort to cast a truly earth-shattering spell.

Instead of this being a completely separate plot with no real tie in to the regular major cast, it is tied directly to Alain, who has been thrown 2,700 years into the past, and finds peace in a troubled little paradise. This is a big case of showing exactly what we were told about in the big reveal of the previous volume, and gives a preview of the calamity that is yet to come.

Liath meanwhile has her own separate arc that also takes her out of the main action for the entire book. This is in essence the personal journey that she turned down at the beginning of book three, and she finally gets the space and time to go through the growth that she has needed, and ends with the answers about what she is that have only been getting bigger as the series progresses.

The final two major plots are back on earth. The main focus is decidedly still in Wendar, with a lot of action and a good chunk of the secondary cast revolving around the Quman invasion. South in Aosta, King Henry starts the process of adding a third kingdom to his crown as all the more dangerous antagonists gather around.

I find it very interesting that much of this volume mirrors some of what had gone immediately previous, and while the main plot definitely moves forward, the secondaries take center stage. This continues to be a very good epic fantasy series, and overall very well paced, mostly because it never looses sight of what its own main plot is.