A new generation faces its own challenges in the world the Change has made.
Princess Órlaith, heir to Rudi Mackenzie, Artos the First, High King of Montival, now wields the Sword of the Lady—and faces a new enemy. Fortunately, she also has a new ally in Reiko, Empress of Japan, who has been pursued to America by a conquering army from Asia.
To combat their mutual foe, Órlaith and Reiko embark on a quest to find the fabled Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, the Grass-Cutting Sword, one of the three great treasures of the Japanese Imperial House. But dreams have revealed that the road to Kusanagi lies through the meganecropolis of the City of Angels, the greatest and most perilous of the dead cities...and beyond it, to a castle in the fearful Valley of Death. And their relentless enemy will stop at nothing to prevent them from succeeding.
For across the Pacific, the great arc of land that stretches from the dark kingdom of Korea to the realm of Capricornia in Australia is threatened by war. Now all the survivors of the Change must choose sides....
So many words about nothing
I've loved this series for the most part, but there's been a couple clunkers and this is the worst of those. Sterling's works are always full of countless detailed descriptions, but here it's too much. It's almost like he cares more about describing a ship or clothes then moving a plot along. 80% of this book is filler- I could tell you in a couple paragraphs what actually happens. The new story arc has promise, even if it appears to possibly be a repeat of the last story arc just with different characters and settings. This installment has the feel of a book written just to keep the annual releases on track and the publisher off his back. If condensed and stripped of so many pointless descriptions, it would've made a great first quarter of a real book. Stop wasting my time and money Sterling, let's get on with it.
Endless descriptions of truly irrelevant details, two minor skirmishes, and a repeat of the old story, just in the next generation.. Also, the world now looks about as regular as before the Change. Only for die hard fans, Stirling could have gotten this done in a hundred pages, easily..