Valoretta, the Queen of Mira, has seen the end of Mira. Arnacin, an idealist in pursuit of a hero’s story, has seen the end of his idealism. What does one do when one reaches the end? In their case, they continue. Esther Wallace’s novel The Eternal Struggle forms a dark sequel to The Savage War. She brings hero and heroine into close fellowship with loss and brutality, with only half-believed hope to relieve the darkness. The story wanders through diverse and memorable territory, most notably a pirates’ island and a terrible prison. Arnacin and Valoretta feel passive through much of it, and the story occasionally reflects this lack of direction. Although this darkness will be too much for some readers, others will be intrigued by the moral struggle and colorful scenes of The Eternal Struggle.
Best for: Fans of fantasy and dark fiction.
Discern: Multiple battles and executions; violence toward defenseless people, including children; a siege leads to severe suffering, including starvation, suicide, and allusions to cannibalism; implied rape.