The Battle Drum
Murder. Secrets. Sacrifice: Three women seek the truth of the empire’s past. And the truth they find will have the power to ignite a war, in the sequel to The Final Strife, the continuation of a visionary fantasy trilogy inspired by the myths of Africa and Arabia.
Anoor is the first blue-blooded ruler of the Wardens’ Empire. But when she is accused of a murder she didn’t commit, her reign is thrown into turmoil. She must solve the mystery and clear her name without the support of her beloved, Sylah.
Sylah braves new lands to find a solution for the hurricane that threatens to destroy her home. But in finding answers, she must make a decision: Should she sacrifice her old life in order to raise up her sword once more?
Hassa’s web of secrets grows ever thicker as she finds herself on the trail of crimes in the city. Her search uncovers the extent of the atrocities of the empire’s past and present. Now she must guard both her heart and her land.
The three women find their answers, but not the answers they wanted. The drumbeat of change thrums throughout the world.
And it sings a song of war.
Ready we will be, when the Ending Fire comes,
When the Child of Fire brings the Battle Drum,
The Battle Drum,
The Battle Drum.
Ready we will be, for war will come.
Book Two of The Ending Fire Trilogy
El-Arifi's incendiary second Ending Fire fantasy (after The Final Strife) again weaves hypnotic African and Arabian myths into the tumultuous tale of a blood-caste-segregated empire mired in conspiracies. The story circles the inextricably bound destinies of three dauntless women. Sylah, a member of the red-blooded Ember caste, leaves her beloved Anoor's side on a quest to understand the tidewind, a perpetual tempest wreaking havoc on their homeland, along the way encountering a fanatical cult and a dreadful war prophecy. Blue-blooded Duster Anoor, having usurped Sylah's destiny as the queen of the Ember-ruled empire, loses her already tenuous grasp on political power when she's wrongly arrested for murder. As she fights to clear her name, she uncovers unsavory secrets that could drive their empire to ruin. Meanwhile, clear-blooded Ghosting Hassa grapples with secrets of her own as she unearths evidence of atrocities perpetrated in the name of the empire. As the women contend with both the ghosts of the past and the irascible winds of the changing times, their discoveries threaten to spark a war. By toggling between key points of view, El-Arifi grants readers a dramatic bird's-eye view of both an unraveling world and the indomitable spirits of the women embroiled in its maelstrom. This is a knockout.