After world-shaking events, a soldier, prison warden, and heretic search for answers as war brews in this second volume of a trilogy.
In the realm called Matteo’s lands, the long-prophesied Day of Ascendancy has arrived, and despite the skepticism of many, the world really does turn briefly upside down, causing much loss and destruction. According to sacred writings, there now remain 100 days until the third Internecion, a time of conflict that is already beginning in some areas. Book 1 followed the fortunes of the Truthseeker (Sebastian Harvellian, a religious acolyte), the Traitor (Princess Hella, a diplomat), and the Imbecile (Darian Bronté, a soldier). Each was in some way wrongly accused or misunderstood. Book 2 takes up the stories of three related characters: the Good Son, Baldric Bronté, Darian’s brother; the Jailor, Zahir, who accompanies Hella; and the Naustic, Nala Réalla, a friend of Sebastian’s. Over the course of the novel, these characters trace difficult journeys, their paths converging on the camp where Sebastian is held prisoner. Along the way, a deep-laid and genocidal conspiracy comes to light as well as questions regarding certain deficits in the ecosystem of Matteo’s lands. Perhaps the answer is, as Sebastian thinks, in the oldest Book of Canons at the top of the Snail Mountains. Things look dark as the Third Internecion approaches. Readers who stuck with the unresolved cliffhanger ending of Book 1 should be glad they did, because Otto (Detonation, 2018, etc.) carries through the promise of his compelling worldbuilding in this second fantasy outing. Rich details stoke avid curiosity about mysteries still to be revealed. For example, if the Purveyor is correct and certain processes in this world exist to restore missing nutrients, why is the ecosystem unbalanced? Why the gravity shift, or whatever it was? What happened in the past that’s left its strange traces, such as mounds of bone and flesh working their way to the surface? Equally intriguing are the author’s well-developed and deeply engaging characters, with their moral dilemmas, need to survive, and questions of their own.
A captivating page-turner that should whet appetites for Book 3 of this fantasy series.