Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Release Date: November 28,2017
The thrilling conclusion to Jon Skovron's adventure fantasy series, two young people from a fracturing empire spread across savage seas must find a way to keep their nation together.
Still reeling from the events at Dawn's Light, Hope struggles to understand what it means to be a warrior who has vowed to never again take up a sword.
Red is enjoying his new role as imperial spy. Perhaps a bit too much. But his loyalties will be tested when his employer, Lady Hempist, relents and assigns him the one task he's been begging for all along: recruiting Hope and Brigga Lin to help rid the empire of biomancery once and for all.
Fate brought them together; it will tear their empire apart.
The Empire of Storms
Hope and Red
Bane and Shadow
Blood and Tempest
Blood and Tempest is the third and final installment in author Jon Skovron's Empire of Storms. Although this series has mostly focused on Bleak Hope and Red over the last two books, Skovron has added other characters and given them much broader narrative in this series than perhaps was absolutely necessary. As this story picks up, Red has taken control over his darker side; his shadow side that was put there by the biomancers who used him to kill off those who were causing trouble.
Red has been working with Lady Merivale Hempist, who is the Kingdom's spy master. She is a brilliant tactician who is 5 moves ahead of anyone else. Merivale wants to disrupt the newly formed alliance between the Biomancers, and the Vinchen's who are now under the leadership of a real piece of work who has a prior relationship with Hope. She wants to save the Prince and heir from being eliminated. She wants an alliance with the people her kingdom is afraid of. And, she needs to find a way to bring Hope and Brigga Lin back into the fold since they have both been at the top of the Biomancers and Vinchen's list of those who need to be killed quickly.
Merivale should be mentioned as one of the driving forces as to what happens in this book, and how the characters like Hope, Red, Jilly, Brigga Lin, and Nettie make their way back to each other in order to save a crumbling empire. At the same time, Hope isn't the same character we met in the first two novels. She's more introspective. She's searching for a way to find a new path for herself without having to once again pick up a sword which she has since left behind thanks to the events of Dawn's Light. For Hope, this is a long drawn out journey.
A journey that will take her back to Bleak Hope for the first time since she was 8 years old and the biomancers killed everyone on her island. She's searching for answers about her own heritage which leads her to a strange boy named Uter who will become her ward and companion. There are other stops along the way as well including back to the place where she trained to become a Vinchen, and a reunion with Red's cousin Alash. Hope has regrets when it comes to Jilly and especially Brigga Lin after she left both of them behind to find her own way.
Meanwhile, both Jilly and Brigga Lin are serving on the same pirate ship. For months, Brigga has felt as though she was drowning. She hasn't done much with her life since being left behind by Hope. She hasn't even bothered to try to train Jilly who both she and Hope promised to be mentors to guide Jilly into being a biomancer/Vinchen warrior. As you are reading this book, you are just waiting for the powder keg to explode. You know that certain characters are waging a war that will end up collecting all of your favorite and not so favorite characters.
The major problem I have had with this story was that it just wasn't as entertaining as the first two novels. There was a slow roll which included some new characters, some new twists, and some interesting turn of events when it came to how the author was going to wrap up this series. I don't believe that this book needed as many narrators that it had. I was truly and fully engaged into this being Hope and Red's series, but then it became much, much bigger and perhaps left something behind in its wake. I will say this. You definitely should read this series. You should read the books as they were released. You should take your time when you get to the ending where Hope, Red, Brigga Lin, Jilly, Uter, Alash, Vaderton, Nettie, Merivale, and their allies are forced to face a slew of bizarro creatures in order to save the Empire.