The Longest War, more than any of the other stories in the “main line” of the Shine Cycle, is a massive and sprawling narrative. In the current plan, for example, there are not one but three sets of “battles” that it only touches on that are to be described in much greater detail in their own books (more on those early next year).
It’s the story of a war that’s mostly “cold,” waged in any number of “theaters” as the Dragon Empire either invades a neutral or allied party directly or by creating proxies. It’s also, I think, the first war in which Gondolor, Tashere’s protégé, a human mage who defected to the Dragon Empire perhaps a decade earlier (of whom I hope to give you a “character profile” soon), takes a central role—the “coldest” periods of the war are the times when he is in one way or another temporarily removed from the picture.
I’ll summarize (as briefly as I can) my current view of the story’s plot as I have it from the Outline of History in later parts of this précis. But I’ve found that my strongest story concepts have come when I take those events and make them the framework on which a perhaps somewhat different story is built, so The Longest War might even turn into a collection of short stories set during this period, or something like that. (Short stories don’t seem very likely at present because I’ve never been able to produce something that short that really works, but anything could happen.) And future parts will also include mentions of principal characters and their roles, perhaps some themes that I hope to bring out, and (as always) where this story fits into the larger whole. So more in coming months … but if you have any comments or questions on this so far, I’d be glad to see and perhaps answer them if I can.