Few fantasy books explain how those on the side of evil got there. In tears Of War, we see the further evolution of children born normal bu..Show More »t who led psychologically brutalized lives into fighters of the dark. Apparently in ages past Galdirene and the non-magic human world lived in peace under "dragon law" until an evil wizard (think Lucifer, et al.?) turned his magic away from light and betgan anepic struggle that eventually destroyed both sides. But it did not completely destroy Galdrilene, as much of it was underground and survived the final battle. Galdrilene and its dragon law represent equal opportunity and universal literacy, mutual respect for all regardless of social class, gender equality, and other values which bind together a utopian society. The dark side, on the other hand, offers elites a chance to preserve their exploitive rule. All of this said, Tears Of War is a fast-paced and cleverly written epic fantasy in which ordinary people who have magic are trained to perfect it and, in the process, have life-changing experiences which thrust them into roles they had never before contemplated. Trosper's clever plot and imaginative characters belie that Tears is only her second book Narration is very capably done. Valerie Gilbert differentiates her characters well with accented speech. Yet the audiobook begged for a male narration partner to handle the male voices. In all, the book's plot and its development and characterization merits a very solid 4. The book held my interest throughout . However, I did wish for a more highly strategic and organized war effort. Galdirene may be somewhat of an egalitarian society where authority is lightly administered, but the good guys fought the dark without a well defined strategy and proper planning. All of the combatants were very new in their roles, so maybe it's understandable that their efforts were born of trial anderror. This said, for most of the first two books, two 600 year old people and a very mature dragon were nominally in charge, but seemed to provide only mentoring and aid when someonewas in need. The citizen turned wizard happens too quickly to be really believable. Even with these minor flaws, I look forward to the lastbook in the trilogy with relish.