Book Reviews

Wind Ruler: Elementals of Nordica: Book IV

Valkyrie Siskonen evaded death twice, and she knows she won’t survive another encounter with the Third Sister… …Sion Zona has no idea Valkyrie’s life is so close to the end, and she intends to keep it that way Valkyrie knows Sion will have no problem deviating from his calling if it means saving her. Even if he is the greatest hope the World of Eidolon has against an enemy larger than either the Tamurian Empire or King Magnu. Fortunately, Sion won’t be in the picture to circumvent the universe’s final destination for Valkyrie. He is leading a team through the war-torn nation of Bastille in the World of Rondure, seeking out the girl who owns the disembodied voice he’d been hearing for months. His new friends on Rondure know about that voice, as they heard her too. And to Sion’s surprise, so has his cousin Erno. Sion needs to continue his development to reach Wind Ruler status. Something he can only achieve with a face-to-face encounter with the girl. Valkyrie knows she needs to survive long enough until Sion has already embarked on his mission before the Third Sister collects her. And she also needs to know he will be okay when she’s gone.

When the third book in a series acts as a wonderful end to a trilogy, you could be forgiven for wondering what more there is for the author to tell. Are they just milking the concept, artificially extending the series past its shelf life? Have they suddenly thought up something new that adds value to the world? Or is the author TC Marti? Wind Ruler, the fourth book in the Elementals of Nordica series—or the tenth book in The Renegades Epic—is most assuredly a book by TC Marti. For those of you unfamiliar with Marti’s work and haven’t read my reviews of his previous books, this is an author who doesn’t think in such rudimentary ideas as trilogies, instead preferring a multiverse-spanning series of interconnected series.

It’s been a little over a year since I reviewed the previous Elementals of Nordica book, Wind Keeper, where I thought it was the final book in the trilogy, bringing closure to that subset of The Renegades Epic, taking place in the first phase of his narrative. To see Sion’s story continue is a true delight. Despite the passage of time, I was immediately brought back to that world, remembering all that came before. Wind Ruler pays due respect to those earlier books, and continues Sion’s character arc in a way that feels consistent with all that came before, while also taking his story in unexpected directions (which, as the author mentions in his notes at the end of the book—always a wonderful extra for those of us who like to read about the author’s thoughts about the story, as well as their influences—features some aspects that came as a surprise to him, with elements of the story not going where he originally intended or anticipated).

With all that has come before in both the Elementals of Nordica series and the broader Renegades Epic, I’ll work harder than normal to avoid spoilers. I will say, however, that Wind Ruler expands the scope of both the series and the epic, featuring more references to the other series in the epic—Chronicles of Rondue, Terrian Chronicles and Sentrys of Terrene—and appearances by characters featured in those series. These books all blend science fiction and fantasy elements, with each series featuring its own subgenres—a key one in Elementals of Nordica is military fiction—resulting in fun, bombastic, science fantasy action. On top of this, the book introduces more science fiction and fantasy concepts to the epic, furthering the world’s depth. Thanks to this increased scope, Wind Ruler feels substantially bigger, and far more epic, than any of the previous books.

Despite its increased scope, at an estimated 252 pages on Kindle (at the time of writing, there is no paperback version available), Wind Ruler is the shortest Elementals of Nordica book, and one of the shorter books in the entire Renegade Epic. Additionally, it continues a trend of these books being quicker reads than what came before. In the author notes I mentioned above, Marti mentions he has been working to reduce exposition, which I attribute to a large part of the quicker reading time. Another factor in this is that Wind Ruler is the most dialogue-heavy of the books, resulting in less prose overall. While this approach can make a book feel underwritten, Marti avoids this trap, using the prose to convey all the information the reader needs to know, while keeping the pace moving along quickly. Of all the books I’ve read in Marti’s world, the prose feels the cleanest, honing in on the story with no white noise to distract from it. The editing is also the strongest I’ve seen in these books, ensuring the reading experience is smooth.

Given the increased ratio of dialogue to prose, a lot hinges on the dialogue. Thankfully, the conversations are all entertaining. Wind Ruler features a broad cast of characters, all of whom sound distinct from one another, making the conversations easy to follow. This is also helped by how well the characters themselves are written. While many of them have appeared in a hefty number of books so far, others are new to this universe. Regardless of how well I know these characters, every one felt as clearly defined as the other.

As the protagonist of Wind Ruler—and indeed, Elementals of Nordica—Sion remains the star of the show. His story arc is reminiscent of manga or anime, featuring a levelling up. And yet, despite the coolness factor in this, in many ways, his story arc is the most introspective of the series to date. The character has some darker moments as he wrestles with an internal conflict, adding depth to the book as it focuses internally. In previous reviews I’ve spoken about how well Marti writes action, and that remains true. Wind Ruler’s action is exceptional, but as the book looks inward, there is less of it. This suits the story well, helping it maintain a quick pace while looking deeper at Sion, his world, and the other worlds within the multiverse.

Another thing I’ve mentioned through the series are the themes the books raise about the societies featured in them. Wind Ruler’s themes about the freedom of religion are pertinent to today’s society, and provide a lens to look at our own. The book doesn’t go deep with this theme, but its inclusion adds that little bit more to the narrative.

As I’ve mentioned a number of times throughout this review, Wind Ruler is the fourth book in a subseries of a wider series that expands its multiverse by bringing in characters from other series. If you’re the type of reader who avoids series, this obviously isn’t the book you’re looking for. At this stage in The Elementals Epic and as as the fourth book in its series, Wind Ruler doesn’t stand entirely alone, and greatly benefits from knowledge of Marti’s multiverse. Having read most of the books (and click these links for my thoughts about them)—Wind Wielder, Wind Master and Wind Keeper within Elementals of Nordica; Civil War within Chronicles of Rondue; Tarja Titan from Terrian Chronicles; and The Rebellion Awakens within Sentrys of Terrene—but not Liza Fury: The Discovery, Liza Fury: Catch-22 or Tarja Titan: Sophomore Year, all part of Terrian Chronicles—I am well abreast of the world, but still had a little catch-up to do. If you’re new, the book makes it easy to pick up what you need to, but I’d still suggest further reading. And despite how interconnected this is with those other books, it still feels like a complete story, instead of just another chapter.

To circle back to the author’s commentary at the end of the book, he has plans to take The Elementals Epic past the current phase two, into phases three and four, if not beyond. This is among my favourites—and is quite possibly my top pick—of them all, and as a whole, they are improving as the series continues, so I am looking forward to seeing where Marti takes this multiverse. It’s a continuation of a fantastic, interconnected multiverse.

Favourite Passage

Shrapnel missed Sion by inches from overhead.

“Enemy snipers!” he yelled, somersaulting behind a vehicle before a fire blast from overhead set the car ablaze.

He bolted for a group of roadblock cones, dodging the relentless elemental blasts and gunfire.Cries of pain greeted his ears and from his periphery, Raj set two buildings on fire. An ensuing sonic boom and subsequent crash forced Sion to crane his neck to his right, where Erno collapsed the burning buildings.

Wind Ruler: Elementals of Nordica: Book IV, Chapter Eight: “Langennut”

Wind Ruler: Elementals of Nordica: Book IV was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.

Wind Ruler is available on Kindle, exclusive to Amazon).

You can follow TC Marti online, via:

Note: I do not post scores on reviews on this website, but do post them on my Amazon and Goodreads reviews:

Interested in purchasing Wind Ruler?

Please find a link below; please note I do not collect any proceeds from the sale.

Wind Ruler (Elementals of Nordica Book 4)

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