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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
In End of Morrow by J.P. Manning, the story unfolds in multiple parallel narratives. Frederick Baker and his team plan an expedition based on a Guardian manuscript in Cairo but face interference from embassy officials and police. They embark on their Mesopotamian expedition despite the risks. Simultaneously, Kar, Arman, and Tuley set out from the ancient city of Assur and plan a rescue mission for the Island of Trees people. Akkadian soldiers and confrontations escalate, and the Guardians discuss building a watchtower in the wake of a death. Arman's group contemplates their role as Guardians and attempts to unite Gutian villagers against the Akkadian army. The Guardians launch a stealth attack on the Akkadian camp, setting the stage for a tense confrontation and potential sacrifice as they face off against their adversaries amidst a forest fire.
And here we are once more with another fantastic J.P. Manning novel, the third book in the Guardians of the East series, End of Morrow. The book reads comfortably as a standalone; however, readers would be doing themselves a massive disservice by passing by books one and two. Manning's ability to immerse a reader into the places and among the characters, whether it's the bustling city of Borujerd, a mysterious island, or the chaotic scenes in Cairo, is part of what makes the story so engrossing. I am a huge fan of using dialogue to reveal character relationships, conflicts, and power dynamics, and Manning is well versed in showing over telling, but where Manning shines brightest is in the prose, especially when we are thrown into combat with the characters. The action is as visual as it can possibly be, with gems like, "Kar was struck on his side as he battled two soldiers across the highest landing. He eventually cut them down and swept his blade back defensively at the soldier attacking from behind.” All of these elements collectively contribute to Manning's impressive piece of fiction, providing readers with a well-rounded and exciting experience. Very highly recommended.