Kirsten Reviews: Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine

, by Kt Clapsadl

Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine
Book of the Order #4

The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity, even when they cannot protect themselves…

After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him.

Though she is haunted by the terrible truth of her past, Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing…

Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine continues the Saga of the Order, of which this is the fourth and final book in the series. The plot centers on the escalating problems in the Empire of Arkaym. The boundary between the realm of the living and that of the dead is failing, and both elementals and spirits are making their way through and causing problems for the living. The only thing keeping the dead from literally ‘taking over’ is the Order of Deacons. However, Sorcha Faris, one of its strongest members is attempting to recover from events of the last book, and regain control of the runes she used to be able to control. Given the influx of dead, it’s hardly the best time to be having this kind of issue, so Sorcha is under no small amount of pressure.

As with any finale, all the major players have to be on the scene to bring things to some kind of resolution. While there are those that are working toward what they think will be the best outcome for humanity, others, such as Derodak, who believes that even if the spirit world’s barrier is completely broken down, he’ll be able to control what happen next and so is actually jeopardizing everyone. That is in interesting contrast to Sorcha, Raed, and Merrick, who are on the run and trying to both recover, as well as gather resources and power to confront Derodak and prevent the barrier from breaking down completely.

The conflict of everyone coming to some sort of pinnacle of their power or greed makes for a slightly different climactic build up, and the dilemma of whether or not the very power that allows these individuals to stand against the geists, spirits and other beings, is ultimately going to help or hinder them are the points around which the plot rotates.

There are difficult choices to be made as well as sacrifices, but with so much behind them already, readers have hope that Sorcha and her companions can find a way through this crisis to a relatively happy ending.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
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     Thinking About Books

Previous Books:
     1. Geist
     2. Spectyr
     3. Wrayth

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