No spoilers in this rapid review of Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima. I really enjoyed it and give it 4.25 stars. Chima’s books have it all: intriguing characters, a unique magical system, and great worldbuilding. My love for this world grows with each installment, just as it did in Seven Realms, Chima’s original series in this setting.
Stormcaster opens in the past to tell Evan Strangward’s backstory beginning at age thirteen. Many incidents and people in his younger years are pertinent to current events in the Realms. Evan’s story eventually catches up to the present, and we finally check in with the other characters from the first two books. Here is what everyone is up to when we first catch up with them:
- Ash finally arrives home to a disbelieving but warm reception, and he’s quickly thrust into wartime politics.
- Hal makes it home but then follows his brother to Ardenscourt to attempt rescue his mother and sister.
- Destin is also in Ardenscourt, hoping to quietly right the wrongs of his current ruler as well as his former one.
- Lyss and Breon are still Celestine’s captives, but the plans she has for them are surprising.
- Jenna and Cas are still traveling together, trying to gather enough clues to defeat Celestine, find Ash, or (hopefully) both.
As you can tell, Chima is weaving together many different threads in Stormcaster. This was the penultimate book in the series, so by the end we have a decent idea of whose plans are falling into place, which characters are or will soon be in the same locale, and what the final battle(s) might look like. She also gives us a nice surprise, one that will especially delight her long-time readers.
With a cast of characters this large, I always end up picking favorites. But it’s harder than normal with this group. Each character is distinct and well fleshed-out. Honestly, I like them all, but I have special place in my heart for Ash. I consider him the main main character, and I’m excited each time the chapter is from his point of view. And I give Breon an honorable mention. He’s a bit of a side character, but there’s something I’ve liked about him from the first time he was introduced. It’s the combination of his spunk, self-deprication, and goofiness.
I definitely recommend this book! I enjoyed it from cover to cover. The climax had some game-changing moments, and I can’t wait to see what Chima has planned for the finale. If it’s anything like book four in her Seven Realms series, it’s sure to be action-packed and certain to be a fitting end to a great series.
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