The Road to Hell (Hell's Gate #3)
by David Weber and Joelle Presby
Cover Artist: Dave Seeley
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781476780672
Date: 01 March 2016 List Price $28.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Two different societies met at Hell's Gate. The battle continues over long supply chains. There is great potential for each side, but there is infighting and plots as groups and leaders out of power reach for it.
The Arcana invasion has been halted after initial great success. The loss during the recent fighting has reduced the Arcana Expeditionary Force's capacity for the near future. The treatment of prisoners at the front is not known in the Capital and is not mutually agreed upon by those at the front. Back on New Arcana, Jasak, Gadrial, Shaylar, and Jathmar must face a trial and Andaran hatred fanned by an unknown source. Fortunately, the Duke of Garth Showma is fully supportive of his son and shardonai. The obligation runs deep in the families of Andara.
Voice Shaylar's final broadcast created anger about her end. The loss of their Prince Janaki has steeled the resolve of the people of Ternathia. Now that the Sharona forces have stopped the Arcana assault at Fort Salby, they plan their counter offensive. It will not be quick and is fraught with danger, but it holds the hope of great gains.
Back in Sharona, Janaki's death has created a problem. In order to create a unified world, Princess Andrin must marry a Uromathian prince. Sadly, none of sons of Chava Busar's sons are good choices. They are all spoiled and without the cunning and charisma that allowed their father to succeed. But Chava wants one of his sons in place to ensure Uromathian power.
There are new groups which are brought into the fore. These non-humans will have a big role to play in the forthcoming conclusion to the series. By the end, it will be easy to see where the action of the fourth novel will take place.
The battle will be joined, but not concluded in this third volume of the Multiverse series. As the third book in a series it is not the best starting point for new readers. The Glossary at the back of the novel is a great help, as is the partial map of the portals provided, but a map with the locations and Earth analogs mentioned would help as well.
Several years have passed since the first two novels in the series were published. I read those when they first came out, but have not reread them. I remembered the basics of how the universe worked and a little about the names, but it took a while to follow all of the cast and locations as the same place had different names. I also didn't realize while reading that the glossary included reference information about the different places.
The Multiverse series is very interesting. It combines magic and technology and a reasonable way for them to battle. Lessons are being learned by both sides and I look forward to seeing how the battle continues. There is also the potential to branch out and travel other chains to new uncharted worlds. This should make for an interesting concluding novel and creates a fertile ground for future series set in the same universe. The rules related to the operation of magic and Talents will be interesting to see revealed. There was a discovery, but what it is was not revealed.