In war-torn Myrillia, an ominous artifact is found. It is a skull, twisted and corrupted by dark Graces-the work of the evil, demonic Cabal set on destroying the Nine Lands. Former Shadowknight Tylar must unravel the mystery of the skull before all of Myrillia is threatened.
But the Cabal is not the only danger. Tylar returns to the Citadel and regains his knighthood-and forces out of Ice Eyrie launch an attack trapping Tylar and the Shadowknights. More terrible is an ancient threat rising out of the dark depths of the Citadel itself.
To save the Nine Lands, Tylar must enter the Hinterland, the desolate territory beyond the blessed Lands, where rogue gods roam and dark Graces flow-and from which no Shadowknight has ever returned...
In Clemens's solid second book in his Godslayer Chronicles (after 2005's Shadowfall), Tylar ser Noche, now the regent of the Nine Lands of Myrillia, must try to keep the skull of an ancient god out of the hands of the Cabal (thin black magicians), among other serious challenges. As the capital city of Tashijan comes under siege, Tylar has to rejoin the ranks of the Shadowknights, whom he left to become regent, and travel to the grim Hinterland, which is full of witches and other enemies. Tylar faces a number of ethical dilemmas. Can he, for example, save the people for whom he is responsible best as a warrior or a civilian head of state? An appealing supporting cast, including the swordswoman Dart (possibly the granddaughter of a god), intelligent world-building and well-crafted magic scenes compensate for the somewhat slow pace. Fantasy devotees with a taste for elaborate quests will be most rewarded.