Two magicians seeking escape from a demonic plot fall in love in the second volume of an epic fantasy trilogy.
Ten years after the events of Spellwright (2010), the physician Francesca DeVega discovers that her city of Avel is now secretly controlled by the demon Typhon, in preparation for the Disjunction, a prophesied demonic invasion. She is apparently key to Typhon’s plot to recruit Nicodemus Weal, the outlaw spellwright destined to play a (as yet undefined) role in the Disjunction and whose cacography causes him to misspell most magical texts and prevents him from touching other living beings. Tensions rise as the city becomes overrun by various political, religious and magical factions who have their own beliefs about the looming Disjunction. To make matters worse, the Savanna Walker, Typhon’s half-draconic creation, roams the streets, causing blindness and aphasia; a second threatened dragon remains hidden. As Francesca (at first reluctantly) joins Nicodemus in his quest to thwart Typhon, find the second dragon and recover the emerald that will cure his cacography, she learns one more devastating truth—about herself. Middle volumes are always tricky, but Charlton succeeds brilliantly here; this is no mere setup for the final installment. By shifting locales from the first book, he widens the reader’s view of the author’s richly detailed world, characters, and magical systems, all of which are informed by his experiences as a medical student and a severe dyslexic.
Absolutely not to be missed.