A sprawling epic sequel that mingles espionage, archeology, sci-fi, and New Age spiritualism.
The writing team of Veitch and DeFazio (The Emissary, 2018) continue the high-fantasy story they began in their previous book, in which the Elders of the otherworldly realm of Atitala send Emissaries into the mortal world, tasking them with preserving their ancient wisdom and shepherding humans to a planetary golden age. Three of these Emissaries—Marcus, Theron, and Helghul—had been lifelong friends in Atitala, but in their subsequent quest, which involves numerous reincarnations, Helghul joined the ranks of the Adversaries, the Emissaries’ great opponents. He’s also bitterly jealous of the bond between soul mates Marcus and Theron, which connects them during subsequent reincarnations. Helghul’s final betrayal of their long friendship came at the previous book’s climax, and this sequel commences exactly where the last installment left off. Veitch and DeFazio follow the core cast members through many different eras and plot twists, and the different natures of each incarnation remain a key element of the story—particularly, in this volume, the unusual nature of the Marcus-incarnation Quinn. As in the previous volume, Veitch and DeFazio energetically fill these pages with a large cast of players as rival forces seek to hasten or prevent a rapturous new era from dawning. Intriguingly, the real-life figure of Genghis Khan is one of the most compelling of these new characters, as is the fictional American humanitarian Oswald Zahn, a wealthy man who capitalizes on the world’s chaos to position himself as a kind of dark savior. The authors’ prose is propulsive throughout, and those who are familiar with the previous book in the series will find it engrossing. However, the novel is also thoroughly enmeshed in the story of its preceding volume, so that it can’t possibly be read as a stand-alone book. A quick synopsis, or even a brief glossary at the end, might have provided much-needed context for the characters’ seemingly endless rushing around.
A vivid and dramatic, if sometimes-dense, fantasy about reincarnated lovers finding each other and working to save the world.