This is the fourth book in the 6-book series, and it does have a bit of the feel of a middle chapter. I have enjoyed the prior books I the series, (book three is reviewed here) and this one was fine, but it was more set-up than the prior books, and less action.
The main action of the novel involves diplomacy, as Captain Tavi attempts to strike a truce with the invading Nasaug. Issues of Tavi’s history are revealed, as his mother reveals that he is in fact the grandson of the current leader, revealing him to be Gaius Octavius. And he discovers that he possesses (or has received) the magical power of furycraft.
Although these plot developments were interesting, and laid very interesting groundwork for the remaining books in the series, it made this novel it bit less action-heavy that prior books. But I like where the series is going, and certainly look forward to the future novels.
There is a fun story told about Butcher’s creation of the series. The inspiration evidently came from a bet Butcher made with a member of an online writer’s workshop. The bet was that he could not write a good story based on a dumb, to which Jim responded by saying he could do so with dumb ideas. The dumb ideas that he was challenged with were “Lost Roman Legion" and “Pokémon.” And I think I can see those influences.
Source: public library.