At long last I have made it to the Arc IV in the War of Light and Shadow series and it is a drastic shift in the way the story has been told thus far. Instead of show us the events involving our beloved characters in a linear story line we have a drastic time jump of 250 years!!! With that, new characters will be introduced and past events will be sprinkled into the story line gradually over the next 2 books. No one said this journey would be easy, but I am up for the challenge! This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon events from the previous novels.
The story starts off with Arithon being held captive to the Koriani in a secluded space. Unaware of who he is or the past events leading up to this, Arithon is set one task from the Koriani which is keeping him alive. With his task now completed, the Prime is now free to exact her revenge on the Shadow Prince but other forces at play have plans for Arithon. Freed from confinement and wandering the country side, the past will sneak up on the Shadow Prince very quickly and they will not all be memories of joy. I’ll stop here as to not go any further into spoiler territory, but the ramifications for these intro chapters will set the stage for the next few books and bring to light events from the past novels in the series.
Being 250 years in the future, many of our beloved characters are no longer among our main cast and this was a hard pill to swallow. Their past will be explained in due time but Initiates Trial will require more patience than previous entries. Not everyone will be happy with this change of pace but I can definitely say this is what the story needed. Now for the fun part of falling in love with the new cast of characters. Specifically Tarens and Daliana will continue to grow on you all throughout this book and even into book 10. Tarens is a very loyal character with a good heart but tends to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. His past will play a huge role in the story to come. Daliana is a firecracker and someone you would want to invite to a dinner party. Quick wit, sharp, and determined gal on a mission from the Fellowship which will have unintending consequences. Her history is ripped with intrigue and shocking revelations.
I had the same feeling reading this book that I had reading Fugitive Prince. Not necessarily the story I expected but the story the series needed. The structure of the novel is vastly different but the buildup and payoff remain the same. There will be many hints and clues both to the larger picture and the past events at large. Although not my favorite book in the series, I can see the ground work for the rest of the series to come. We are coming up on the finish line with one more published book to going in Destiny’s Conflict. Everything is moving into place nicely with the ending just around the corner. A fine addition to series and it will surprise you in many ways.