- Action-packed scenes due to nature of the plot to save Admiral Valdar
- Presence of friendly aliens like the Dotari and their struggles
- Suspense from space and impending appearance of Geist and their allies
- Ambassador Standish
- Little progress of the main plot regarding the Geist
Valdar’s Legacy Review
Valdar’s Legacy by Richard Fox features the return of the likable avian-like allies the Dotari as they fight to save Admiral Valdar who is imprisoned on Takeni by a traitorous faction of the Dotari who are working with the Geist.
One of the great features of the Ember War series is the ubiquitous presence of aliens who occupy a very busy galaxy. Not only are they everywhere, but these aliens have their own cultures and motivations, and these motivations all come to a clash in one big chaotic mess that makes for some great stories.
The plot for Valdar’s Legacy gives readers a sense of what happened to the Dotari and Takeni after the Geist invaded Earth and filled the vacuum left by the Xaros. A bit more of the Dotari culture and history is revealed, reminding readers of the Dotari’s rigid social hierarchy that makes it easy for invaders to occupy: control the top of the social structure in order to control the rest of society.
The Dotari’s acceptance of this hierarchy means that those at the top can live in relative safety and convenience while those at the bottom are sacrificed to the soul-harvesting machines of the Geist. These little revelations about the aliens in the story are what enrich the overall series.
These details about the Dotari, as well as Steuben’s misunderstanding of human figures of speech add a sense of realism that makes the story universe feel more dynamic.
The plot of this fourth book in The Ibarra Crusade focuses on Ely Hale and the Steel Sworn’s dangerous mission to save Admiral Valdar from the Geist-controlled Takeni. The nature of the plot—an invasion deep into enemy territory to liberate a hero of the Ember War—anticipates a lot of action and suspense, and the book delivers with both battles on the ground and in space.
There are battles on the planet as well as in space. Since there’s only one ship, the Warsaw, behind enemy lines, there’s certain to be suspense as the ship fights against what seems to be overwhelming odds.
The action is cut with some scenes of Ambassador Standish’s attempt to stall for Ely and his team. Love or hate Standish, his familiar presence in the story adds a level of familiarity and nostalgia that is kind of comforting.
While the plot is exciting, the overall progress of the Crusade against the Geist in saving Earth and humanity is minimal. While that’s not necessarily a drawback, there’s a sense of urgency after Marc Ibarra is shown the field of crucifixes with humans being drained of their life energy.
Valdar’s Legacy by Richard Fox is an exciting story that resolves the mystery of Admiral Valdar and his absence during his last battle. The story features the reunification of two allies who fought side-by-side during the Ember War and is sure to engage and entertain fans with non-stop action.
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