Continuing the trilogy begun with Goa (1996), Dalkey's agreeably low-key fantasy set in late-16th-century India. The Inquisition of Goa has learned of a powder, reputedly the dried blood of an immortal goddess, that can raise the dead. An expedition to the powder's source gets under way, its members-- among them special investigator Father Gonsáo, young apothecary Thomas Chinnery, the lovely Lady Aditi, and the mysterious Andrew Lockheart--are as various as their motives. At Bijapur in the Deccan, they run into a force of Mughul warriors led by the Mirza Ali Akbarshah, also following up rumors of the marvelous powder. When Gonsáo dies of a fever, Thomas, fearing for his own life, steals the last of Lockheart's hoarded supply of the powder to revivify him. Finally, Gonsáo's soldiers seize Aditi and prepare to torture her to reveal the true source of the powder--Aditi is a secret goddess-worshipper--but Aditi falls on a sword and dies; there's no powder left to resuscitate her. Thereafter, plots thicken and motives congeal as the expedition is forced to join up with the Mughuls in order to proceed. After a dreadful start, all grinding gears and clumsy recaps, Dalkey drops back into an intriguing and tantalizing groove: Fans of the previous volume won't be disappointed.