From ancient Greece they came, remnants of the glorious Trojans. Led by Brutus, Kingman, holder of the bands of gold that wield the very magic of the Gods, these travelers are bowed but not broken, and they have come to Albion to begin anew. A vision of beauty called them to create a new Troy, and when they landed on the shores of the land that became Britain, they found an old magic that was fading. And so they began to construct a new Labyrinth, a place of magic that will bring unimaginable power to those who can control it.
The temptress who brought Brutus to this land seeks to use him for her own purposes, but in that she fails, for it is the bride of Brutus who dooms the completion of the labyrinth . . . and sends all the players in this drama---handsome Brutus, his beautiful wife, Cornelia, and the sensuous and deadly Genvissa---into a hell of death and rebirth, until the Labyrinth is completed and the ancient magic is set free.
A thousand years pass. Cathedrals rise in place of mud and wattle huts, hymns to saints replace odes to Celtic and Greek gods. But the magic from the dawn of time waits, and the players are not yet done with their destinies. They have new faces and new bodies, but old souls---and not all who have come back remember their parts in this drama. There are kings and princes, deadly court intrigues, and ancient powers awoken.
And a warrior across the sea who only waits for his opportunity to finish what was started centuries before . . .
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In the long, complex second installment of her Troy Game quartet (after 2003's Hades' Daughter), Australian author Douglass moves her teeming cast of mythic heroes from ancient Greece to 11th-century England (aka Albion). The labyrinth that Brutus, the leader of fallen Troy, established 1,000 years before has evolved into London. Harold Godwineson and William the Conqueror are engaged in a vicious power struggle that will decide not only who will rule Britain but also who will control the labyrinthine Game that underpins this ambitious fantasy series. Since the principal characters, good guys and villains alike, are regularly reborn, death is a mere inconvenience. Whether or not they remember their earlier lives, they behave just as they did in past incarnations. This inability to alter or grow lends a certain flatness to the characters, despite the space Douglass devotes to their emotional histories and motivations. Still, the admirable Caela, Harold's sister, makes a beguiling heroine and her visions of London in 1939, on the eve of WWII, provide some tantalizing glimpses of what's in store in the projected fourth and final Troy Game volume.