The final battle for the Rhen has been a long time coming but now the invasion has begun. As Darien leads his new people into the lands he once defended, he has to face former friends and protect himself against the enemies that are supposed to be on his side.

Endings can be tricky things. Not only do you have to try to tie up all the plot threads and pay off what has gone before, but you also want to satisfy the readers that have stuck with you. I’m happy to say that Darkfall succeeds on all counts.

As with the previous installments, Darien takes center stage. His conflicting emotions as he tries to balance the things he must do against his belief that it is necessary to save his people is very well done. He alternates between hope and self-hatred and it does take its toll. His sense of despair at times is almost palpable.

Other characters get their time as well, each drawn in a believable and empathetic manner. Many of them struggle to accept their roles in either assisting or opposing the invasion and the impending destruction of the magic field that threatens them all.

One thing that I did particularly like was the way things tended to come full circle, with plot threads from the first book coming to prominence again. There is also a sense of mirroring, with themes of loss, sacrifice and responsibility recurring throughout.

Darkfall is a fantastic read, as is the entire Rhenwars Saga. While I would not be opposed to having more works set in this world, for now this is a compelling and praiseworthy conclusion.

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