First off, the electronic version of this book is in better shape than the previous. That had obviously been properly proofread, but there were still some major formatting problems with scene breaks and the like. Well, not even that’s a problem here. So the ebook is very solid.

As to the novel itself? Yes, it is also very good, and a worthy sequel to the first two. This one was conceived a little after the first two, and it shows with some sequelitis. The biggest problem is that with the title, and the trajectory of the first two, you know where this is going to end up from an early stage.

But the process of getting there is as well done as ever. Mara’s continuing struggle for reform and struggles with the Anasati are sharply curtailed with the Council of Mages, powerful, and outside the law, intervenes, and demands a halt.

This turns the narrative to a new struggle, with higher stakes, while the old struggles continue in the background, and this drives the rest of the plot.

In the end, I wasn’t as satisfied with it as with the earlier books. While the conflict is real, even with some time spent with some of mages to give their point of view, it all feels too impersonal.

On the other hand, the cast of major characters is better fleshed out and expanded. This ends up as the stronger point of the book, which makes up for a lot. Still, the entire Empire trilogy is excellent, and not to be missed.