“I have no interest in miserable weaklings like you.”
While volume 18 technically starts a “new” arc it is an immediate continuation of the last one and the series in general builds off all that has come before. This is not the place to start reading – go back to the beginning.
The Ashes of Lautrec is the culmination the last several volumes have been building to and is the longest arc yet. It will span ten chapters (parts 1-6 here) and heavily involves all the major forces, established and new. Major changes and casualties are in store, with the shocking end of volume 17 merely the beginning. Besides just the incredible battles themselves, other big draws here are key reveals of true motivations and hidden agendas as well as finally getting a harsh glimpse of how the power levels of the seven, the Creatures of the Abyss, the Destroyer, Alicia and Beth, and another key awakened one truly compare.
This arc is a masterpiece of brutality, intrigue, despair, and sacrifice. It draws on story elements spanning all seventeen previous volumes and is as gripping as it is fittingly disturbing.