In this sequel to Knights of the Borrowed Dark (2016), Denizen Hardwick, along with his friends Simon Hayes and Abigail Falx, are Neophytes in the Order of the Borrowed Dark.
They now live in a house in Seraphim Row under the care of Denizen’s newly discovered mother, Vivian Hardwick, a Knight Superior of the order. There, Denizen and his friends train to defend it. Some of their fiercest enemies are the nefarious Tenebrous, dark, shape-shifting creatures who live in a sort of in-between world and who have powers that Denizen seems to be able to channel. As he feels he is losing his ability to control these powers, he is offered help by an unlikely ally, one he must convince his mother to trust if they are to protect the order from a possible assassination that could incite an interdimensional war. In this middle volume, Denizen is forced to call upon his courage to protect the order from dark forces that wish to destroy it. Though Rudden creates compelling, likable characters in this fierce, magical world, there is a repetitiveness to the narrative that slows up a rather lengthy book. The numerous interleaved scenes with Denizen’s secret ally give the story a “let’s get on with it” feel. Abigail is described with dark skin; the white default seems to apply to the rest of the principals.
With many of the wrinkles from Volume 1 ironed out here, there are just a few more to manage to make Volume 3 a corker of a conclusion. (Fantasy. 10-15)