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The Sum of All Shadows: The Testament #4    by Eric Van Lustbader order for
Sum of All Shadows
by Eric Van Lustbader
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though I read and enjoyed the first book in this series, The Testament, I missed the next two, but was able to catch up while absorbing this fourth, The Sum of All Shadows. While the first entry in the series read like an action-packed Da Vinci Code spin-off, this one is rather different.

It's still very much a quest to save humanity - from ultimate evil - but there are several rich plot veins being mined in this series, involving a growing set of significant characters. Medieval scholar Braverman 'Bravo' Shaw has been there since the beginning when his father was killed, his sister Emma blinded, and he led the Gnostic Observatines against the Knights of St. Clement. Ayla has his back.

Now, Emma can see again and has grown in power, to the point that she believes she can convert a fallen angel - will hubris destroy her? The Knights of St. Clement have been defeated with the help of Emma's lover, Lilith. The latter's estranged and prickly younger sister Molly has also been recruited, though Bravo is anxious for the two to reconcile - Molly cannot forgive Lilith for deserting her as a child and seeks her true mother.

Lucifer, the Sum of All Shadows, has found a way to imprison the spirit of Bravo's grandfather Conrad, who has been guiding his grandson but is now blocked from him. Readers meet small Haya as she is taken by her mother Chynna (ancestress of the Shaws) to live with demonic Seraph Leviathan. Haya's curiosity gets her into deep trouble with Leviathan, especially when he realizes she is not his child.

All these leads have their own trials and quests, but end up in battle with Lucifer's forces between realms in Medius territory, where the Lord of Limbo ruled. Chynna finally redeems herself; Molly finds her home; and Conrad seals the rift that allowed Lucifer's invasion. The Sum of All Shadows is a thrilling read.

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