The second instalment of this complex, beautiful story. Can treachery and murder offer the only path to salvation? Glass turns to flesh as DarkGlass Mountain rouses from its restless sleep to walk the land and plot the downfall of the Lord of Elcho Falling. Ishbel and Maximilian, now utterly estranged, ride for Serpent's Nest, not realising that at their backs a cadre of traitors plot their death. Axis once more takes command of the Strike Force, but it is not enough to save him from the gallows of Isaiah's generals, nor from the lover who betrays him. In Isembaard the Skraelings run amok, but they will not touch the sole survivor from the slaughter of Aqhat, who walks north with a mysterious relic of Ashdod's past. Over all hover the Lealfast, ancient creatures who hide many secrets and possess a sorcery so ancient and malignant that it threatens to curse Elcho Falling as soon as the twisted citadel rises.'a darkly sensual tale ... nothing less than you would expect from our best fantasy writer' **** BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER 'Douglass certainly has an epic imagination ... devourers of fantasy fiction will lap it up' tHE AGE
A hefty and welcome glossary of characters connects this sophomoric second installment of the DarkGlass Mountain trilogy to its predecessor, 2007's The Serpent Bride. Maximilian, king of Escator, and his former queen, Ishbel, struggle to decide whether to repair or fully end their romance, while Isaiah, Maximilian's military leader, and Axis SunSoar, a heroic winged Icarii enchanter, debate how to combat the demonic god Kanubai, who has been absorbed into the DarkGlass Mountain and now poses an even greater threat. Those familiar with Douglass's earlier Axis Trilogy may savor the intricate interplay between humans, Icarii and their mysterious Lealfast cousins, and the Gollum-like Skraelings, but grisly scenes frequently disrupt the flow of the story, and Douglass's chatty abandonment of epic tone ("You are in a pickle, Maximilian") often snaps the necessary suspension of disbelief. Maximilian's weariness over endless wandering that gets him nowhere proves an apt metaphor for the story.