Getting back to a more localized story, away from the epic and world-spanning tale of Urza and Gerrard, this book tells of a psychotic and deranged ruler (Johan) trying to conquer Jammura, and of the colorful group of characters that stand in his way. The Legends Cycle represents the return of Clayton Emery to the MTG multiverse, the same author who wrote the first four MTG books published (1,2,3,4). He was good then, and he's good now. Full of unexpected surprises, intense action, gory descriptions, and favorite characters who suddenly die, Clayton Emery's books are typically better than the average MTG fare. While the evil magician Johan is only perfunctorily described here, with nothing much about his motivation or background, this book is full of other great and well-developed characters. My favorites were Adira Strongheart and her loyal "band of seven" (composed of between 4 and 9 bravos, depending on how fast she can replace fallen comrades), who aren't your typical heroes, but a bunch of low-down pirates with shaky morals at best, but who are nonetheless wrangled into fighting on the side of good. Others include Hazezon Tamar and Jaeger, neither of whom developed into very compelling characters, despite their having great potential. The story told here progresses quickly and is entertaining throughout, but this is definitely only part of the overall tale, so you don't get the firm feeling wrap-up you would with a true stand-alone novel.
Overall, better than the majority of MTG books, a decent effort by Emery. Still, recommended for fans of the series only.