Empire of Grass

DAW. (Last King of Osten Ard, Bk. 2). May 2019. 688p. ISBN 9780756410629. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780698191495. FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarThe kingdoms of Osten Ard, ruled by High King and Queen Simon and Miriamele, face danger from all sides. King Hugh of Hernystir made a deal with the queen of the Norns to allow her armies to pass through mortal lands, and she and her people are determined to wipe out all who stand in their way. The kingdom of Nabban is on the brink of civil war, and Queen Miriamele is unwittingly caught in the middle. The Thrithings clans of the grasslands are now united under the fabled Shan—and he's determined to make the stone dwellers pay for the injustices done to his people. Morgan, prince of Osten Ard and heir to the throne, is lost in the Aldheorte forest and must make some unusual allies if he hopes to survive. Worst of all, there appears to be a traitor in the city of Hayholt itself who is determined to undermine Simon and Miriamele. Over everything looms the mystery of the Witchwood Crown, which Simon and his allies must solve if they have any hope of defeating their enemies.
VERDICT The second installment in this series (after The Witchwood Crown) has everything fans expect from Williams: rich descriptions; high fantasy with twists and turns; and expertly drawn characters forced to fight for their kingdoms, unaware that the fate of the world lies in their hands. Highly recommended.

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