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Queen of Fire
US Cover
US Cover
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Author Anthony Ryan
Illustrator Orbit Books (UK)

Ace (US)

Published on July 7, 2015
Published by Ace
Publication order
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Tower Lord None

Queen of Fire is an epic fantasy novel by Anthony Ryan. It is the third book of the Raven's Shadow series.

Cover Synopsis[]

The Ally is there, but only ever as a shadow, unexplained catastrophe or murder committed at the behest of a dark vengeful spirit. Sorting truth from myth is often a fruitless task.”

After fighting back from the brink of death, Queen Lyrna is determined to repel the invading Volarian army and regain the independence of the Unified Realm. Except, to accomplish her goals, she must do more than rally her loyal supporters. She must align herself with forces she once found repugnant—those who possess the strange and varied gifts of the Dark—and take the war to her enemy’s doorstep.

Victory rests on the shoulders of Vaelin Al Sorna, now named Battle Lord of the Realm. However, his path is riddled with difficulties. For the Volarian enemy has a new weapon on their side, one that Vaelin must destroy if the Realm is to prevail—a mysterious Ally with the ability to grant unnaturally long life to his servants. And defeating one who cannot be killed is a nearly impossible feat, especially when Vaelin’s blood-song, the mystical power which has made him the epic fighter he is, has gone ominously silent…

Plot Summary[]

The final book in the series delivers a no-holds-barred war story, following the five POV characters of the second book: Vaelin Al Sorna, Frentis, Queen Lyrna Al Nieren, Reva Mustor, and Verniers Alishe Someren, with the addition of Alucius Al Hestian.

In the aftermath of her victory in Alltor against the Volarians, Queen Lyrna gathers her alliance of Realm-folk and now decriminalised Gifted, and marches across the realm to Varinshold. Meanwhile, The Shield leads her Meldenean allies to harry the Volarians at sea, and Verniers heads to the Alpiran Empire on a diplomatic mission to seek aid against the Volarians. Elsewhere, after the burning of the Urlish forest fails to crush Frentis’ guerrilla rebellion, the Volarians send a large force in pursuit, only to be led into a trap and crushed when Baron Banders joins the rebels.

Ultimately, Varinshold falls to the combined forces of Queen Lyrna aboard captured Volarian ships, Frentis’ rebels, and rebels within the city including Alucius who dies killing traitorous Lord Darnel. With the Unified Realm now free, Queen Lyrna sets her sights on taking the fight to the heart of the Volarian Empire. However, she must do so without Vaelin Al Sorna who heads on a mysterious mission.

Vaelin Al Sorna heads north to the Pack Ice guided by Kiral and Wise Bear. In the wilds he discovers Erlin and who he really is; the supposedly legendary Kerlis the Faithless who denied the Faith and was cursed to live forever. Erlin leads Vaelin to a Memory Stone where he learns of the original people who built the Fallen City and how The Ally was corrupted by sorrow at the death of his wife Essara, and killed by her brother Lionen. Kiral draws The Ally into Erlin’s body, who greatly desires Erlin’s Gift, but then binds him securely.

Queen Lyrna prepares her invasion of the Volarian Empire, aided by Alornis Al Sorna who proves herself an adept innovator in shipbuilding and military hardware. To prepare the assault, Frentis is pardoned for killing King Malcius, provided he leads the vanguard into the Volarian Empire. Frentis is armed with a vial of the dark viscous liquid from the High Priestess of the Lonak, which can free the Volarian slave soldiers from their binding. As Frentis’ slave rebellion gathers force, the Empress of the Volarians takes sole charge of the Empire; the Empress is in fact the Elverah, a servant of The Ally.

Her fleet finally ready, Queen Lyrna embarks for the Volarian Empire. Despite the winter storms which sink a third of her fleet, including Reva and The Shield’s ship, they make landfall. Lyrna’s forces must fight a series of battles to make it to the capital Volar. The Empress seems intent above all in killing Lyrna herself; the so called Queen of Fire. In one attack the Empress draws the Realm forces into a melee purely to allow her new Varitai, including a enslaved Aspect Arlyn, to attack Lyrna in the flank. The Queen is save by Caenis' Gift, which causes the Varitai to attack each other instead.

By now, the Volarian Empire is in chaos from repeated defeats and the slave revolt, as well as dissent against the Empress’ autocratic rule. Volar quickly falls to the combined forces of Queen Lyrna, Frentis, and Vaelin Al Sorna. In the great arena they find Reva alive, having been forced to fight in a series of deadly duels.

However, the victory is short lived. The Ally, although securely bound, reveals his Gift which allows him to freeze everyone like statues. As The Ally moves to kill Queen Lyrna, Frentis stops him, able to resist The Ally’s Gift by virtue of the power he received from Revek which originally helped free him from Elverah’s binding. Frentis promptly knocks The Ally unconscious. A tense exchange ensues between Frentis and Elverah until she is shot through with arrows. When The Ally regains consciousness, Weaver draws his power from him with his Gift. The Ally is then taken into the bowels of the arena where he is forced to touch the mysterious black stone which consumes him.

In the aftermath, much of the Volarian Empire has been annexed into the Unified Realm. However, Verniers returns after his failed diplomatic mission to inform Lyrna that the south has been annexed into the Alpiran Empire. In the end, Vaelin takes the black stone that consumed The Ally on his journey back to the Northern Reaches. He smashes the black stone to dust and scatters it into the sea.


POV Characters


Raven's Shadow Series
Books Blood SongTower LordQueen of Fire
Characters Vaelin Al SornaLyrna Al NierenFrentisNortah Al SendahlReva MustorCaenis Al NysaMore characters
Places Unified RealmAlpiran EmpireMeldenean IslandsVolarian EmpireFar WestMore places
Mythology and Lore