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on July 10, 2013 :
Excellent story. I devoured this book in a day and a half.
If you've read Crystal Fire, you'll recognize many of the characters in The Last Battle as their younger, less scarred selves. And yes, this is the last battle referenced in that work.
Norsemen armies are gathering under the malevolent eye of the evil witch, Thisrena, but after generations of peace and prosperity, the leaders of Crystal City find themselves struggling to prepare their undermanned defenses for the imminent invasion.
In the City, Tarina, Macon and Rowan kick the training of the newest recruits into high gear, shifting much of that effort into a dangerous plan that may be all that stands between the Crystal and the northern hordes.
In the desert, young but talented Darian falls in with fellow Crystal Warrior Tyros, when they find themselves fighting over the same horse after receiving their separate urgent recalls to Crystal City. Darian has an interesting backstory, one that becomes important in the next Tale of the Crystal, The Twelve Tablets. The cammaraderie between these two is natural and humorous.
In the North, Glynnis, a former healer in the service of the Crystal, sets out for Crystal City with his own goals in mind. On the way, he meets and joins Reynos, a spy who is returning to Crystal City to report on the movements of the Northern Army.
Will Crystal City's defenders turn back the hordes? Will Glynnis succeed in his diabolical plans? Will the nameless Evil strike a fatal blow against The Crystal?
Overall, I enjoyed the banter between the various characters, the insight into the hierarchy of the Crystal City, and, of course, the intrigue behind the battle between the forces of good and evil. Well done!
(reviewed the day of purchase)