Alexander and the Greystone Guild are expanding their territory. Building up the keep, conquering new lands, and recruiting citizens of all races. And when they've prepared enough, they plan on taking the fight to the minions of the Dark One in their own strongholds. .
New friends are discovered, and alliances are made. Tragedy befalls one of the group, and the Dark One's identity is finally discovered. A new, yet at the same time ancient enemy makes itself known, threatening to change the face of Io forever.
My Opinion: 413 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
I had to laugh when I read the Forward. It’s a nice summary of the last book but it read like it should have been titled, “Last Time on the Greystone Chronicles.”
Book 3 in the series picks right up where book 2 left us dangling. Facing an unexpected army of demons and a Lich. The situation is quickly resolved and then the story gets back to town building, recruiting, and social stuff.
That sets the tone for the novel in general. Yes there’s action and adventure but overall, the story feels more daily adventure and slice of life. There are fewer epic battles and much more city building, crafting, and town management stuff. There’s still some development of the story and advancement with the real world attacks on the game company but they felt forced at times. Especially the big reveal with the Dark One, there wasn’t much foreshadowing of it through book 1 and 2 so the reveal felt a bit sudden.
Though the cast of characters is becoming super long, we still spend time with fan favorites like Fibble the goblin. Those moments when it’s just the core group are definitely my favorite. Those relationships are the big character development draw for me.
I still have the same old complaint about how death is treated in the series. The main character and his group get super upset and angry any time one of them dies, even though they know they’re friend is going to resurrect soon. It’s explained that because these immersion players feel like they're there, their emotional responses are just as knee jerk. So to them it’s like they saw their friend die for real. Only this doesn’t make sense to me. There’s no permadeath for players, so this always seemed like a weird reaction. Also, if it’s the case that death feels real, then why doesn’t the main character or his group have any problem sneaking into an enemy's base and slitting the throats of other players while they sleep? It’s just an inconsistency in a view of death that keeps bothering me. Though I will acknowledge that the author’s been consistent with the view through the series.
Overall, this is still an enjoyable story. I liked where the kingdom building in the story goes but I’m also ok with a slice of life story.
Score: 7 out of 10