A conflict of ideals – magic versus fire-powered weapons. The fate of Issalia hangs in the balance.
A new Empire has risen to power. Already in control of the east coast, the Imperial Army sets its sights on Issalia’s western kingdoms. Tensions rise as both sides prepare for war.
What deadly weapon will the Empire develop next?
Brandt and Quinn are espions – part spy, part thief, part assassin. Under false identities, these spies find themselves deeply entrenched within Empire headquarters. There, they gather information, seeking a means to foil the Empire’s plans for conquest.
One misstep by either warden could result in death – their own and thousands of others.
They are joined by a small squad of fellow wardens:
- Wildcats – warriors trained to fight while powered by magic
- Rangers – experts in nature, these archers scout enemy forces
- Gadgeteers – engineers who invent magic-powered machines and weapons
- Arcanists – those who can wield Chaos – a destructive, rune-based magic
Driven by the core belief that Chaos magic is evil, the Empire seeks to stamp out this scourge. If victorious, Chaos will be outlawed. Those who can wield it…will be executed.
The wardens must stop this Imperial gambit.
The game is afoot – a game like no other. The world is my Ratio Bellicus board. The game pieces are real people with hopes and dreams and lives they believe they control. I know the truth of it – a truth my peers don’t even acknowledge.
While my enemy hides their pieces from me, I know the hand that moves them. In that knowledge, I have an advantage. My opponent’s motivation remains clear and they believe in that clarity. They see Chaos as evil. I see it as a tool, not so different from a knife. A knife can carve beauty from wood, slice an apple, or stab someone through the heart. How the tool is used defines its purpose. Magic is no different.
To my opponent, my hand remains hidden – my game pieces and their abilities unknown to them. Within this subterfuge, I study and consider, and I scheme. I shift a game piece here and move another there. The game pieces used are as important as the schemes guiding them.
My prodigy and her counterpart now dwell inside enemy headquarters, feeding from a well of misguided trust as they prepare for an act of betrayal. Sometimes, piercing your opponent’s heart actually becomes the knife’s purpose.
There may soon come a time where I become an active participant rather than simply the hand that directs others. When the time comes, my enemy best beware that I am well versed in knives and betrayal. Beware the hidden assassin, for a successful Imperial Gambit hinges on the placement of such a game piece.
From the journals of Master Espion, Delvin Garber
This book is another great addition in the Wardens series. It is the best book so far and I like that the books keep getting better as the stakes for the characters keep getting higher.
This book focuses more on missions for various Wardens as well as some development of weaponry at the Ward. The story strikes a very good balance between these with all the events being directly related to the overall plot. There are no filler missions or filler characters which I really liked. Most of the book focuses on Quinn and Brandt. Their story is extremely interesting and somewhat unpredictable. The banter between. Them as well as Chuli and Jonah is quite entertaining. This book definitely builds up the tension between the Empire and everywhere else and I can’t wait to see what happens next.