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WARNING: Late Arrival Spoilers abound for previous books in The Powder Mage Trilogy.

Tamas has returned to Adro with a Deliv army to crush the Kez, but he still has to deal with the traitors in his own ranks. Adom is dead, but Kresimir is kept contained by Ka-poel's magic—except traitors are hunting down Taniel and Ka-poel, who are short on supplies and time. Nila is apprenticed under Bo, and is trying to learn how to use her newfound magic fast enough to help the army fight the Kez.

Meanwhile, Claremont has occupied the city with forces from Brudania and announced his intention to run for First Minister, which could render every other conflict moot.


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This novel provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Claremont is friendly, honest, and genuinely wants to help lead Adro to greatness. He also hired Lord Vetas to do all sorts of terrible things and dismisses them all as "necessary." It's possible it was Cheris' idea to hire Vetas, however. When Claremont lost, he wanted to keep his word and leave peacefully (though he did plan to undermine Adro non-violently), but Cheris is the one who went nuclear.
  • The Chessmaster: Claremont and Cheris (who are collectively the god Brude) have been working behind the scenes of the entire series.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: When Claremont finds out that Adamat discovered that he is Brude, he cheerily says he doesn't want to know how Adamat figured it out, as it's "more fun when it's a mystery." This ends up biting him in the ass, because he didn't realize that Adamat would easily be able to identify Brude's other half.
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  • Graceful Loser: When Claremont loses the election, he congratulates Ricard and prepares to leave peacefully, as promised. Cheris, on the other hand, drops the prison on the parade and starts murdering everyone in sight. Claremont admits he was planning on fighting Adro non-violently by undermining opinion of Ricard, weakening the Adran economy, and so on, but when Cheris got violent he had no choice but to follow suit.
  • Reincarnation: The "mortal incarnations" of the gods are the result of the gods stealing the soulless body of a baby still in its mother's womb; Adom tries to take babies that would otherwise be stillborn, but it's quite likely that the other gods don't share his restraint.
  • The Shadow Knows: The god Brude has no shadow.
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