Del Rey, Jul 2008, $14.00
Renowned puppeteer Leodora knows women regardless of talent are shunned for performing so she masquerades as a male using the name Jax. However, the adept performer is taken by the gods from Colemaigne to an afterlife realm Edgeworld though she is not sure why.
By the time they take her back, the soul eater Lord Tophet has caused havoc on her town. Her return causes a renaissance as Colemaigne returns to its pre-Tophet cursed enlightenment. Outraged that the affliction he caused was superseded by a puppeteer of all things, Tophet vows to destroy Leodora and then bring back his brand of Chaos. He sends his killers to destroy the legendary puppeteer Jax who brought joy back to the city when “he” returned.
The sequel to SHADOWBRIDGE is a strong tale due to the solid cast whether they are mortal or immortal. Leodora as herself and as Jax is a terrific lead character while the title antagonist is as wicked as they come. The story line is fast-paced from the onset and never slows down as LORD TOPHET sends his minion after Jax unaware the city savior is a girl. Fantasy readers will appreciate this strong character driven entry as evil comes after innocence.