The Saga of Shadows trilogy—which is itself an offshoot of the Saga of Seven Suns series—wraps up. By this time, the story is so labyrinthine that readers who aren’t intimately familiar with the preceding books will be utterly lost (a prologue, titled “The Story so Far,” helps a little, but not a lot). The upshot is: the war with the Shana Rei continues to escalate; humans and their allies seem doomed to extinction. But there is one hope: the Faeros, beings that live inside suns (imagine a sentient ball of fire and you’re pretty close). But will these powerful and wildly alien beings work with the human and Ildiran alliance? Or do they have their own agenda? Anderson’s imagination is as vast as space itself, and his ability to juggle dozens of characters, multiple story threads, and an entire universe of technologies and civilizations is staggering. Fans of space opera who haven’t already discovered him should rectify that immediately—but be warned: if you want to know what’s going on in this saga, start it from the beginning and work up to its rousing finale.
This review originally appeared in Booklist, August 2016.