THE KING OF THE CRAGS by Stephen Deas

THE KING OF THE CRAGS

From the "Memory of Flames" series, volume II

KIRKUS REVIEW

The brutal scheming continues in Book II of The Memory of Flames series (The Adamantine Palace, 2010), set in a world where king and queens enslave dragons with alchemical potions that deaden the creatures’ intelligence, telepathy and memories of their past lives.

Thanks to Prince Jehal’s employment of poisons, drugs and a few judicious murders, his lover Queen Zafir has been named Speaker, the influential arbiter of the nine realms and a title that Jehal hopes to eventually claim for himself. Zafir’s rule is none too secure, as she’s ineffective and tyrannical; plus, many nobles don’t believe in the guilt of Queen Shezira, whom Jehal’s framed for assassinating the previous Speaker. Zafir and Jehal’s alliance crumbles, due to her mistrust of his political motives and murderous jealousy of his pregnant wife (well deserved on both counts). Meanwhile, Snow, the white dragon awakened to her true nature, seeks to free the others of her kind, pursued both by her former masters and Semian, a vision-crazed dragon-knight who believes he’s destined to ride her. Keeping track of the players’ shifting allegiances is a full-time job and few characters are wholly likable, but teasing out their motivations is an intriguing puzzle. Who will be left standing (or flying) at the end of this series is anyone’s guess, and everyone is so busy setting fire to everyone else’s stronghold, it seems as if there won’t be much left to rule over when the ashes finally cool.

A fairly successful stab at viciously political fantasy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-451-46376-0
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: ROC/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2011




NEW AND NOTABLE SCIENCE FICTION FOR 2011:

Sci-Fi THE SOUL MIRROR by Carol Berg
by Carol Berg
Sci-Fi FARLANDER by Col Buchanan
by Col Buchanan
Sci-Fi THE KING OF THE CRAGS by Stephen Deas
by Stephen Deas
Sci-Fi THE FALLEN BLADE by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

Sci-FiCRUCIBLE OF GOLD by Naomi Novik
by Naomi Novik