by Elizabeth Haydon
A prequel of The Symphony of Ages series, this story describes the even that ended the Third Age--the destruction of Serendair. The story follows Sir Hector Monodiere, who is the last remaining officer of royal authority on the Island as he attempts to keep order until it's submergence by the Sleeping Child. Along with Hector are his four friends who swore to remain with him and help in mission until their own deaths.
Given that the reader knows that the Island is going to be destroyed, the conflict in the story is both Hector's personal mission to save anyone else who hasn't left the land and suddenly to stop the fire demons from escaping the Vault of the Underworld when he is tricked into opening up what is thought to be a mine gate in an attempt to save some of Serendair. Overall the story is an interesting one, a two quests doomed to fail though not for the lack of trying. Yet for a new reader of the overall universe there seems to be a hole of explanation that hurts the story's power to connect.
3 1/2 STARS