THE BRILLIANT DARK by S.M. Beiko

THE BRILLIANT DARK

From the "The Realms of Ancient" series, volume 3
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Realms of Ancient trilogy concludes as fractured factions stare down an imminent apocalypse.

In the seven years since Children of the Bloodlands (2018), the mass unveiling of the Denizens, the open appearance of monsters, and the looming Darkling Moon have radically altered society. Now Mundanes oppress Denizens while the Elemental Task Guard, overseen by the United Nations and operating under the guise of unification, seeks to eliminate the threat of Denizen magic through their mysterious, sinister-sounding programs. Large amounts of exposition are interwoven with Saskia’s storyline, both refreshing readers on the sprawl of the previous books and illuminating societal changes. Now a rebellious teenager raised by Phae, she’s a talented Mundane hacker in the service of Denizens until the Task Guard catches her and offers her a job. The Moth Queen, the personification of Death, also has an eye on Saskia. Saskia must play all sides while sifting through the increasingly complicated mythologies to find a way to get Roan and Eli—and the Ancient—back in time to save the world in a storyline with twists aplenty. The cast is multiracial and multicultural, with Scottish and Japanese lead Saskia, returning supporting characters such as Inuit Natti (who explicitly sees the intersectionalities at play in the new order), and other minor characters; both straight and lesbian romances are represented, and there’s a genderqueer character.

Highly sophisticated and fully immersive. (Fantasy. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-77041-359-7
Page count: 544pp
Publisher: ECW Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019