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The gory final Legend of Asahiel novel (after 2006's The Obsidian Key) brings this grim fantasy epic to conclusion with plenty of violence and magical mayhem. The dreaded Illysp pressure the forces of good in Pentania with their Illychar, monsters created from the bodies and memories of the dead. Krynwall, capital of Alson, reels from the death of Torin, last bearer of the Crimson Sword, and a power struggle erupts among the city's leaders. Matters worsen when Torin's body is inhabited by the Illychar called Itz lar Thrakkon, "the Boundless One." Only half-elven Annleia, daughter of the last Vandari elf, can battle Thrakkon and petition the ancient Dragon God Ravar to learn how to destroy the Illysp once and for all. The final chapter of this dense trilogy is not for new readers, but those familiar with previous events will be satisfied with its sneering villains, bloody battles and decisive climax. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.