The Adversary by Erin M Evans
I am getting a little more settled with this series. Ms. Evans did a better job pulling the plot lines that came before her into her installment. This book really felt like it was supposed to be one of the series while being a standalone story. However, (don't you just hate those) I stumbled to get into this story from a writing perspective. Paul Kemp so far has had the best writing.
For this installment, I was back to the internet for research on the vast races that appear in the D&D landscape. Our main protagonist is a tiefling. Completely foreign to me, but I wanted to know what the background of the race was to understand how they fit into the relationship. I also took a brief look at what other stories these main characters had come from. They are the closest in the relational timeline to the plot point of the entire series, so far. Ms. Evans didn't need to "jump" her characters so far forward into time. I do feel the manner in which the time warp occurred was quite clever.
The initial chapters are a solid attempt at bringing some of the past story to the current reader. Unfortunately, I found the experience stumbling and choppy. I had a hard time distinguishing between moments of foreshadowing with moments of flashbacks despite the different fonts from the font (couldn't resist some wordplay and I promise it will make more sense when you read it). I forced myself to march on through the first third of the book. Then it started to simmer. The heat of the Hells warmed the story line and I found myself vested in the characters. Then the concluding third of the novel absolutely boiled over. The action was smooth and quick and got my heart pumping for the characters. There was a clear wrap up while leaving the ending open to the next author.
I give this book a mid-level review. The price tag is once again hefty and the first third is slogging but the conclusion makes it very much worth the read. Buy it to own the whole set but rent it from the library by itself.