His family massacred, a boy must claim a dark inheritance and wage war against a greater evil.
Nineteen-year-old Simon Bell has forged himself into a ruthless and inventive mage of the Order of Ahriman, carving out an oasis of peace even as the world spirals into chaos.
With the slaughter of the Order of Ahriman, few remain with the power to oppose the mad whims of the God Planet. Most of Earth has fallen into Ahriman's grasp, monsters and madmen consuming the world in a maelstrom of violence. Simon's closest friend, who he foolishly trained, has fallen to the foul temptations of the planet. Simon and his beleaguered allies are pushed to the brink of destruction in the face of overwhelming evil.
As Ahriman comes into alignment, Simon embarks on the final battle. No longer will he merely fight the planet's servants. This time he goes to war with the Dread Star itself. But Ahriman has desires of its own, and it wants Simon, body and soul.
Much like film noir, Justin Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He splits his time between editing comic books, writing prose and wondering what that disgusting smell is. Degrees in Anthropology and History prepared him for unemployment, but an obsession with horror fiction and a laundry list of phobias provided a more attractive option.
It's darkest before the dawn. Things got dark at the end of The Dark Price of Ahriman, and they immediately get worse. Our heroes are stuck between bad choices and worse choices. They are only human (some of them; mostly), and they make mistakes.
What sort of trilogy is this? Is there a redemptive ending? Is there a moral victory? Pyrrhic? Actual? When people with sound internal motivations are given vast (seductive, corrupting) power and forced to make difficult decisions, can everyone get out alive? Can anyone?
Not everyone makes it through this book alive. Not everyone who makes it through the book alive makes it out intact. When characters walk on the surface of Ahriman itself, the only certainty is things are about to go horribly awry.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
The final book in the Ahriman trilogy is surprisingly delightful and imaginative. The third in a series of young adult novels set in a universe replete with magic and Lovecraftian horrors, the author starts with a typical hero's journey plotline and develops it in a somewhat unexpected but entirely fitting direction. Along the way, the story offers a diverse cast of well-developed characters struggling with various kinds of power politicking, interpersonal relationships, and unlikely alliances as they take different approaches to the same goal. The book is a fun tale about magic and friendship that simultaneously manages to discuss human nature in a very accessible way.
A strong ending to a strong series. I've compared the previous two to supernatural TV dramas, and that still holds true, with this being the final climactic season where everything is at stake and nothing is safe.
Just like a TV drama I sometimes want to shout at the screen (or page) when the characters make particularly bad decisions, or when I can't quite keep up with how or why the power balance shifts. But that is part of the genre honestly, and in the end it makes for a truly captivating experience and a perfect ending to the series.