In the days of the first kings in the North, there were seven devils…
Possessed by a ghost who feeds on death, the undying assassin Ahjvar the Leopard has been captured by the Lady of Marakand, enslaved by necromancy to be captain of her Red Masks. His shield-bearer Ghu, a former slave with an uncanny ability to free the captive dead, follows Ahjvar into the war-torn lands of the Duina Catairna to release him, even if that means destroying what is left of Ahj’s tormented soul.
Deyandara, the last surviving heir of the Catairnan queen, rides into a land ravaged by disease and war, seeking the allies she abandoned months before, though they have no hope of standing against the army led by the invulnerable Red Masks of Marakand and the divine terror of the Lady.
In the city of Marakand, former enemies ally and old friends seek one another’s deaths as loyalists of the entombed gods Gurhan and Ilbialla raise a revolt, spearheaded by the Grasslander wizard Ivah, the shapeshifting Blackdog, and the bear-demon Mikki. The Lady’s defences are not easily breached, though, and the one enemy who might withstand her, the Northron wanderer Moth, bearer of the sword Lakkariss, has vanished.
So this was a two book series? I guess so, cos there is an ending. And most will continue with their happy or not happy lives, after they rebuild everything. But with 2 of the characters there is a promise of a new series set somewhere else.
Anyway with this series, the last book left everything and everyone in quite a mess. The crazy God/Devil/Dancer is backed into a corner and wants to destroy the city of Marakand and everyone. Then there are a bunch of characters who now fight in Marakand, and I must confess, if I had read her other book, Blackdog, then I would have felt more at home with those. Now it felt like I did not really know them all. The dog, the bear, the wizard, the rest. So even if this is a new series, I do say read Blackdog, and then this series. It will work better.
What I really enjoyed was reading about Deya, Ajhvar and Ghu. There was so much tension there as she was meant to be Queen, but the Goddess did not want her to be. And poor Ajhvar..poor guy :/ And who Ghu really was? Intriguing. They were great characters. They tried to keep things together as forces of Marakand are coming to conquer.
An interesting world, the Gods in particular. I liked how it was all put together.
Paperback, 435 pages
Published December 9th 2014 by Pyr