Tuesday, December 18, 2018

#Review - A Thunder of War by Steve McHugh *Urban*

Series: The Avalon Chronicles # 3
Format: E-Book, 304 pages
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Publisher: 47North
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy

There’s thunder on the horizon, and the lightning of war is about to strike.

After years of struggle, Layla Cassidy has finally mastered the dark powers that threatened to control her and turned them to good. She’s ready to fight, but the next battle will be her greatest test yet.

The forces of Avalon are growing ever stronger, reinforcing their dominance with almighty displays of brutality. When Abaddon comes close to crushing Layla and her friends, it’s clear that the thunder of war is about to give way to lightning—and that they have no chance of surviving it alone.

The final battle against Abaddon is drawing closer. Now Layla and her friends must fight for themselves—and the future of the world. To win, they will need every power and ally they can muster. But even with all their strength, will it be enough to stand against the impending doom?

A Thunder of War, by author Steve McHugh, is the third and final installment in the authors Avalon Chronicles series. The story picks up right where A Flicker of Steel left off. It has been several years since Layla Cassidy discovered a new world that lives right under the eyes of humanity. She became an umbra (a joining of 3 spirits and a demon), found she had kick ass powers, and joined a group that fights against Avalon, an organization that once stood to protect mankind, but now wants nothing more to push it's agenda on everyone from shifters, to gods, and goddesses, and everyone in between.

When a mission to the realm of Norumbega goes wrong, Layla and her allies are faced with the possibility that their rebellion may be at an end. After all, Abaddon has been several steps ahead of Layla's group and always seems to come out ahead while her group ends up on the raw end of things. The battle against Avalon has become more brutal as the fighting increases and the losses stack up. No one knows if Avalon can be defeated and everything is risked. No one knows if they are safe anywhere in any realm from Abaddon and Arthur's forces. 

Yet, Layla refuses to give up. Not even when Avalon masses an army to conquer Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life, thereby gaining control of all the portals so they could kill everyone. Not even when several key figures in the rebellion are taken has hostage in yet another Abaddon plan to smash the rebellion and bring all realms to their knees. One of the main reasons I like reading this series is that the author mixes and draws on legends, folklore, mythology from various countries and times. The author also introduces new characters to the story including a shadow elf, Norse dwarves, fire giants, and a saber tooth panther which becomes Layla's side kick. 

He also takes readers to such realms as Helheim & Tartarus and Shadow Falls. If you've read the first series, you know all about Shadow Falls. While Mordred is thought of as the leader of the group, and there are several chapters which are told from his narrative, it is Layla who seems to be involved in every single aspect of the rebellion, and it is she, and her allies who find themselves involved in the bloodiest battles across several realms. A Thunder of War is a bloody, violent, emotional and thoroughly entertaining finale to this part of her story.

It is true that I spent time getting involved in these books after failing to read the Hellequin Chronicles first It is also true that Layla's arc seems to have come to an end. Still, I still have lots of questions. However, I clicked over to the authors web page and was surprised to learn that a new three book trilogy will be releasing in 2019. The new series is being called Rebellion Chronicles. Apparently this means the return of Nate Garrett who has all but disappeared since being reintroduced in this new trilogy. All three books in the new series pick up right where this book leaves off.


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