The third “Swords and Fire” book wraps up the trilogy well. My objections from the first book persist, but are better here, as the story and politics have grown.

And all the strong points remain. There is a good mix of action and tension. A couple of beats are a little predictable, but mostly the calm parts of the book are undercut by waiting for the other shoe to drop, and wondering just what that shoe will be.

Amalia’s quest for better conditions for the mage marked in the empire is nearing completion (or at least a vote to see if she can change things). And the handling of this part is one of the places where the series and her has grown. Meanwhile, the series villain, Ruven, is still loose with a bevy nasty powers and the will to use them. The various things he has access to make it hard to see where things will go, as he has a lot of options. Perhaps a few too many, as he’s something of an always-prepared supervillain. But… it’s actually well handled, and he drives the action well.

And there is a lot of action. I flew through the book because there’s a lot of really page-turning bits in here. At the same time, the book does not become overburdened with action as it’s well spaced out. So, this is one of the better roller-coaster concluding books I’ve seen, and the series is certainly recommended.