The Chosen warriors split their forces to square off against a vampire lord in this sequel.
Adem Highlander, his friends Carl Wilder and Wil Martyr, and his lover, Jean Fairsythe, are visitors to the fantastic realm of Kismeria. They are the prophetic Sons of Odin and the Daughter of Thor, in training to face the Dark One and wielding special weapons that involve the godlike Battle Angels. After events in the previous adventure, the four Chosen—as well as the Immortal Kings and Queens—have been imprisoned by the warlord Keljar El’ Koto at Auglem Watch. The rescue party, led by Jothar Kelderath, King Tobin Fireheart, and King Orion Demonslayer, generates not just magical shields of air, but also offensive spells like fire to dispatch enemy soldiers. This breaks newly created laws, and in a shocking display of power, Jean strips them of their royalty. Though Adem disagrees with the decision, he stands by Jean. Then, an attack by Tairark Vampireking’s horde focuses the group on curing the vampirism of Hayley, Wil’s wife, which has spread to her Battle Angel, Druantia. If left unchecked, the curse may infect other female Battle Angels, bringing disaster to the warriors who summon the deities during conflicts. In this second installment of Hammer’s (Odin’s Awakening, 2014) epic fantasy series, the complexities of magical warfare and romantic loyalties continue. Taking center stage once again, however, are the action sequences. They’re akin to panoramic oil paintings of orgiastic chaos, as when “Hawks, Crows and Pixies broke away from the Shadow Men to punch through vampire chests in bright flares....Skulls exploded on impact, limbs falling as torn debris.” These scenes are balanced by explorations of the heart, considering that “love comes second to power” for Adem. Hammer also delights in creating elaborate names for characters and magical maneuvers, like “Black Owl Swoops” and Calliestra Shadowheart. The use of time-travel and other twists—like the fallout from a romantic triangle among Adem, Jean, and Princess Isabella—deftly prepares fans for a rousing sequel.
This immersive, colorful, and action-oriented fantasy series smoothly maintains its rapid pace.