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Bright Steel (Masters & Mages) (2019)

by Miles Cameron

Series: Masters & Mages (Book 3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
382571,086 (4.1)None
Every war comes down to the flash of bright steel, even when the air is full of magic . . . Aranthur and his friends have come together across different continents and realms with one purpose: to strike back against the forces which have torn a hole in the heavens and threaten to rip the world beneath them apart as well. With time running short, and treason at home, there are battles to be fought on the field, in the magical arena, and in the ever-deadly realm of politics, and they must succeed on every front or everything will fall. Victory will require enemies to trust one another, old foes to fight together, spies to reveal the truth and steadfast allies to betray long-corrupt rulers. Is Aranthur, a twenty-year-old student, really the master strategist to bring it all together? And can he and his friends overcome aeons of lies when their plans inevitably fall to pieces? Do they even know, for sure, who the enemy is . . . ? Praise for Miles Cameron 'A masterclass in how to write modern fantasy . . . Miles Cameron is at the top of his game' John Gwynne 'A fresh take on the typical farm boy turned hero fantasy, this is everything you could possibly want in a fantasy series' The Bibliophile Chronicles 'A stirring, gritty and at times quite brutal epic fantasy' Tor.com 'This series promises to be the standout epic fantasy for the ages' Fantasy Book Critic… (more)
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A superb series by Miles Cameron. Plot, pace, world-building, magic system, and most especially the action sequences are all masterfully written.

Ratings:- ( )
1 vote ShreyasDeshpande | Oct 24, 2020 |
This is a review of this book in the context of the series as a whole.

The thematic and narrative arc of the entire work has been towards the avoidance, if not quite the renunciation, of violence, and particularly killing, as a means of resolving disputes. As such this third volume faces a challenge: how to present the climax of a high-stakes plot while remaining true to the theme.

It does so by consistently declining direct fight-to-the-death confrontation in ways which raise the immediate risks. In other words, it's a series of gambles with high stakes: the empire and rhen the world: the latter involving direct conflicts with principalities and powers. Most of the fighting is against extremely powerful adversaries, combining arcane and more prosaic forms of engagement, with a large admixture of strategy.

Aranthur continues to move in the direction of becoming a lightbringer; some of the things he learns cast the early events of the series in a different light. The degree of success they have can be traced directly to his willingness to do well, to trust and communicate with entities whom others reject, and, finally, to release the bonds of those unjustly bound.

The novel evades the standard pattern of defeating a great evil in an apocalyptic showdown, or even a Tolkienian end of an age; it's clear that in many ways the result of all the conflict plus a world which still incorporates good and evil, if only at a reduced level of risk - for the present - even if the immediate prospects are upward rather than downward.

This is an effective end to a good trilogy. ( )
1 vote jsburbidge | Jan 2, 2020 |
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Every war comes down to the flash of bright steel, even when the air is full of magic . . . Aranthur and his friends have come together across different continents and realms with one purpose: to strike back against the forces which have torn a hole in the heavens and threaten to rip the world beneath them apart as well. With time running short, and treason at home, there are battles to be fought on the field, in the magical arena, and in the ever-deadly realm of politics, and they must succeed on every front or everything will fall. Victory will require enemies to trust one another, old foes to fight together, spies to reveal the truth and steadfast allies to betray long-corrupt rulers. Is Aranthur, a twenty-year-old student, really the master strategist to bring it all together? And can he and his friends overcome aeons of lies when their plans inevitably fall to pieces? Do they even know, for sure, who the enemy is . . . ? Praise for Miles Cameron 'A masterclass in how to write modern fantasy . . . Miles Cameron is at the top of his game' John Gwynne 'A fresh take on the typical farm boy turned hero fantasy, this is everything you could possibly want in a fantasy series' The Bibliophile Chronicles 'A stirring, gritty and at times quite brutal epic fantasy' Tor.com 'This series promises to be the standout epic fantasy for the ages' Fantasy Book Critic

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