Thank you to the author for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. The Adversary’s Hand is available now.
The Adversary’s Hand is the fifth and final book of The Heroes of Spira series. I will do my level best to avoid spoilers, but you have been warned. You can find my reviews for books 1-4 here: The Ventifact Colossus, The Crosser’s Maze, The Greatwood Portal, and The Infinite Tower.
The Adversary’s Hand was one of my most anticipated books of 2023 and it didn’t disappoint. The cast of characters known as Horn’s Company is back and facing danger far above their skill level. This evil takes them across worlds and through time, calling on every shred of bravery (or stick-to-it-ness) they possess. As with every book in this excellent series, The Adversary’s Hand immediately swept me away, taking me on the adventure right along with the characters.
The stakes continued to grow, as did the world. I have no idea how author Dorian Hart was able to have so much detail in this book without it ever becoming too much or slowing down the plot. However, The Adversary’s Hand moved at the perfect pace, neither too fast nor too slow. Once again there was a combination of the sort of threat that requires a sharp pointy object and the sort that needs to be solved by intelligence or cunning. Every member of the party was useful and things wouldn’t have worked out as they did without the contribution of every character. I loved that, despite there being several characters focused on, not a single one is ever superfluous.
I had no idea how things would work out, although I truly hoped they would. The Heroes of Spira has an undercurrent of hope running throughout that is so refreshing. Yes, things are dire at times and not everyone makes it out unscathed, but to balance out the bad were truly good characters. I was so invested in the outcome because of them. They had strengths, flaws, worries, and hopes that were relatable. Even their exhaustion at having to save the world again was easy to understand and believe. I loved the sense of frustrated resignation that a few of the characters experienced upon learning that still more was being asked of them.
It’s these wonderfully developed characters that have made me fall in love with this series. Kibi’s story arc was flat-out awesome and I loved Eddings (and his appreciation of a good pair of slippers). Ernie has been a favorite of mine throughout the series, as has Dranko. The way they have evolved throughout the series is nothing short of astounding. It was natural and believable. Basically, these fantasy characters felt very real, magical powers and goblin blood aside. I wanted them to succeed.
The Adversary’s Hand brought the imagination, excellent storytelling, and sense of wonder that made me fall in love with fantasy in the first place. I was sad to see the series end, although the ending was the sort that I like best. It was more of a beginning, really. Answers were given and things were wrapped up but there was also the idea that, years down the road, you could visit the world again and find new stories or characters to follow.
I can’t recommend The Heroes of Spira enough.
One thought on “The Adversary’s Hand by Dorian Hart”