Tor, Apr 2008, $25.95
The eagle riding Marit the reeve died three years ago (see SPIRIT GATE) while working alongside her lover reeve marshal Joss as they and others tried to save the mortals of the Hundred from an attack led by a rogue Guardian. Now Marit awakens lying naked on a Guardian alter. She is bewildered to be alive as she remembers being murdered and knows her soulmate eagle is dead.
Marit begins to understand what has happened to her while wondering if Joss lives and if the war is over who won. As she concludes she somehow has become one of the Nine Guardians, she vows to be different than they were. She will directly help the Hundred instead of taking an apathetic position as the Guardians she served seemed to have taken until one of them turned rogue. Marit learns that the hostilities remain with the people struggling to survive against the horde led by hostile Guardians.
SHADOW GATE, the second Crossroads epic fantasy, is a tremendous thriller that grips readers from the moment Marit wakes up on the altar and never slows down in spite of numerous complex subplots that highlight a world turned from justice and order to injustice and chaos. Although the climax occurs suddenly and leaves major threads for book three, fans will appreciate the deep look at a world in trouble, but recommend perusing the previous tale first (see SPIRIT GATE) to fully comprehend the complexities of the Elliot cosmos.