The Skull Throne is the 4th book in the Demon Cycle series.
The review below contains no spoilers for this book and only very slight ones for the series.
I struggled a bit getting back into the story with this book. Unlike previous times I didn't reread the entire series just before starting on this one, so my memory was a bit foggy, particularly on all the many Krasian names and relations.
It's a book that's very much about power. Both political and brute force. It's also a book which doesn't focus much on what I'd otherwise perceive as the main character. This book is not really about Arlen Bales (nor his wife nor Jardir). This book is about what goes on with Leesha and Rojer, Inevra and Abban while the others are away.
Once I got back into it and defeated the nearly month-long reading-block (akin to writer's block) I couldn't stop reading. And at the same time I was terrified to read on. While these books have never been a picnic in the sun, this time it's a much much darker tale - and people get hurt. VIP people. The people you thought were surely safe. While I'm totally cool with an author doing whatever he does, certain passages did cause me to hyperventilate or in fact had me shouting at the book and the cursed heavy pages, spluttering with fury, with rage, with tears in my eyes, with eternal loss. Just writing this, recalling how it felt, made me cry. This book hits hard.
I present to you no spoilers, but a book that's every bit as worthy as it's predecessors (and almost twice as long). You might not like what happens, you might not agree with it, I certainly didn't, but I can't wait for the 5th book to come into my possession. This remains the best damn fantasy series I've ever read and I need more.
This is no fluffy story, make no mistake. We're venturing into the night and with men being men they are stupid enough to fight each other rather than just the demons that lurk in the dark.
Curse them all.
Darkness will rise
As heroes fall