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by John C. Wright

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 2006
ISBN: 0-765-31496-7
Publisher: Tor

Part two of Wright’s mythology-based trilogy (Orphans of Chaos, 2005) wherein five children of extraordinary lineage, each perhaps from a different universe, have been snatched from their families and raised in strict confinement in an archetypical British boarding school.

Each of the five possesses superpowers, each of those powers deriving from a different paradigm. Narrator Amelia is a multidimensional being who “sees” emotional forces; Vanity creates passageways where none existed before; Colin’s psychic powers come from the world of dreams; Victor may be the ultimate scientist; Quentin is a warlock. The school’s staff has been chosen carefully to keep the children in check. Grendel Glum, for instance (yes, the Grendel of Beowulf fame) lusts after Amelia and, because his power nullifies hers, schemes to bear her away to his gloomy palace at the bottom of the sea and rape her. At the end of the previous volume, the children were recaptured after an escape attempt, their memories wiped, their powers stripped away—all except for Amelia, who must somehow enlighten the others despite knowing that their every word and deed is known to Headmaster Boggin. In a safe at the school resides a set of objects that might help them release their powers—a necklace, a book, a potion, an orb, a card—if they can find a way to break in. Even if they succeed, they must escape again, this time permanently, or be killed. And they must still discover why they’ve been treated thus, and determine whether they are pawns or queens in a dreadful struggle between the forces of Cosmos and Chaos.

Further mind-boggling complications, this time leavened with humor, weighing in somewhere between splendid and abstruse: Stay tuned for the conclusion, Titans.