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CITY OF DEATH by Laurence Yep


From the City series, volume 3

by Laurence Yep

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7653-1926-5
Publisher: Starscape/Tom Doherty

The world turns out to need saving from more than just one menace in this conclusion to Yep’s teeming and polymythical fantasy/alternate history/quest/rescue/coming-of-age epic.

The long chase has taken young noblewoman Scirye and her motley band of human, dragon and magical animal allies around the Pacific Rim and beyond. It comes to an end (after diverse adventures in Central Asia) in the ruins of remote Riye Srukalleyis (the titular City of Death) with battles against both the evil sorcerer Roland and, unexpectedly, a mountain-sized mud monster. As in previous episodes, quiet moments are rare, fortunes reverse in an instant and new adversaries appear in quick succession. There always seems to be time, though, even in desperate moments, for wisecracks, arguments, explanations, declarations of nefarious intent or ruminative digressions. The result is a relaxed tale with surprisingly low levels of pain or violence, considering all the gunfire and swordplay, and a tidy ending that comes amid a wash of personal conflict resolution. Yep provides only a partial key to the plethora of gods, ifrits, griffins, talking animals, legendary or mythical locations, and villainous types here, but he closes with a list of his multimedia sources.

A tongue-in-cheek ramble with frequent opportunities for derring-do and a multitude of supernatural entities more colorful than dangerous.

(afterword) (Fantasy. 10-12)