Of Fire and Night
By: Kevin J. Anderson
Format/Source: Mass bound paperback; my purchase
After many years of hardship and bravery, the human race faces its greatest challenge. The sweeping war between titanic races -a conflict that has obliterated planets, extinguished entire stars, exterminated whole races – is reaching its end game. Allies become betrayers, strangers become fast friends, and enemies clash in a struggle that will rock the galaxy.
As the climactic battle is engaged, the Ildiran Solar Navy, the Earth Defense Forces, the Roamers, green priests, Klikiss robots, and hydrogue warglobes collide in a fury that will destroy many and change the landscape of the Spiral Arm forever.
Of Fire and Night is the fifth installment of the Saga of Seven Suns (100 Things) science fiction series. I started reading this in 2011 (I believe?) and I can see the finish line, lol! Spoilers if you haven’t read the first four installments!
First thought that came to my mind upon finishing the novel? Oh snap!
I’ve been waiting for some two novels now to see the antagonism between King Peter and Basil Wenceslas come to full head, and it finally does in this volume. Peter was already starting to act defiantly in the previous volume but here he takes it to a whole new level; unlike Basil, who is fighting to retain control even as everything is going to hell around him, Peter is starting to find an authority in himself that not only other people recognise and can follow but that he himself can carry with belief. He is emerging as a true leader in this novel and I’m curious to see how prepared he is in the next novel to really govern and lead and make the difficult choices. But in this novel he finally finds a way out of the Whisper Palace for himself and Estarra, relatively intact too, thank goodness. It was also nice to see that there were people he could turn to along the way, something that I had not seen in previous volumes.
Meanwhile everything else is going to crap for everyone: Jora’h and the Ildirans are faced with an ultimatum by the hydrogues, the Kilkiss robots finally make their presence (and seeming intentions) known to the EDF, Earth is faced with their own extermination by the hydrogues, the Roamers are still scattered and faced with numerous problems of isolation and politics by the wentals, the Ildirans, etc. It’s a really tense read and I found myself just flying through the pages in order to find out what happens next to Peter, Jora’h, Jess Tamblyn, etc. Some stuff that has been in the planning stages for the last book or two also came to fruition, such as the wentals and the verdani launching their respective assaults on the hydrogues. Time is running out and this book does not disappoint in terms of finally getting things going, confrontations occurring and a resounding conclusion.
At the same time, there’s enough story left open at the end of the novel: what will happen to Peter & Estarra and their new confederation? Will Basil Wenceslas go down without a fight? And what about the Kilkiss robots? (we still got them to deal with) Not to mention there are still some problems rumbling within the Ildiran Empire that were not as resolved as everyone thought.
Of Fire and Night is a great continuation to the Saga of Seven Suns series. I could not put it down. The only reason I didn’t rate this novel a full five stars was because the cast of characters at this point is so large, I found myself not as engaged with some of the other character storylines that were happening in this novel. Obviously they all represent different aspects and perspectives on the struggle but I was not as pressed to find out what happened to their story next. Nonetheless I can’t wait to read the next volume in the series and find out what happens next to everyone and all of these societies.