The power-hungry High Lord of Kalare has launched a rebellion against the aging First Lord, Gaius Sextus, who with the loyal forces of Alera must fight beside the unlikeliest of allies-the equally contentious High Lord of Aquitaine.Meanwhile, young Tavi of Calderon joins a newly formed legion under an assumed name even as the ruthless Kalare unites with the Canim, bestial enemies of the realm whose vast numbers spell certain doom for Alera. When treachery from within destroys the army's command structure, Tavi finds himself leading an inexperienced, poorly equipped legion-the only force standing between the Canim horde and the war-torn realm.
Butcher deftly mixes military fantasy and political intrigue in the rollicking third Codex Alera book (after 2005's Academ's Fury). Gaius Sextus, the First Lord of Alera, plants his nephew Tavi in a new legion, where Tavi can gather information on the rebellious High Lord of Kalare. Tavi, now a full-fledged Cursor, or spy, infiltrates the legion under the assumed identity of an officer, a station the green young man has not yet actually achieved. Treachery from a supposed ally opens the legion to attack from its bestial enemies, the Canim, incapacitating the captain and catapulting Tavi to the rank of the legion's commanding officer. Cut off from contact with the First Lord and with few seasoned officers to guide him, he must lead the troops in a defense of the Imperium against a horde of frenzied Canim warriors set on annihilating the Aleri people. Readers will cheer Tavi every step of the way. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.