I have finished The Trillias Gambit, Book Three of J.V. Hilliard's Warminster Series.
"A path without challenge is the wrong way" goes the Erudian proverb, "and the best laid plans never survive first contact with the enemy" goes one from an entirely different book, and both are equally applicable in the best of ways here. For it was a tense pleasure watching the carefully laid plans of the fell alliance from the Dragon’s Breath Mountains come undone as Prince Montgomery arrived on time, Viscount Joferian rescued his Ember from Scarlett, a cryptid was unmasked, and a great battle won - if at great cost. Yet two thirds of the alliance thrives still, for though the Black Rose has wilted his Shadow masters live. Though Daemus recovered the book and the heart of a god, Graytorris the Mad flies with destruction not even Sir Ritter Valkeneer's Silencer and Princess Addilyn Elspeth's magic can fell. I always wondered how the Dragon’s Breath Mountains got their name, as well as the origins of the Moor Bog. Now the whole of Warminster will find out.
“The blade of betrayal, the sharpest of weapons, is wielded not by your enemies, but by your friends." – Warminster the Mage