3.5 stars. Ringo tried to do too much here for my taste. He got sidetracked in the middle on side characters with a battle none of our mains were involved in and never really got his focus back. It's powerfully written and his battle scenes are well done but the character arcs and emotional lines suffered for it. Perhaps his goal was to represent the chaos of war. If so, he succeeded, but even the death of the protagonist's family member at the end was not as emotionally powerful as expected for me because we had lost touch with the characters we'd invested so much in during the first third of the book. The first book in this series was quite strong. So much so that I went out and bought every book in the series, including two side series which are related. I still plan to read on but hope the focus in later books is more like that of the first. That said, Ringo is top notch at what he does. This just felt a bit too much like unfocused Tom Clancy years to me.