Nights of Sin
Juno, Aug 2008, $6.99
Kirin and Lia are traveling to the Imperial City, which is protected by the thick wall known as the Armitage. They risk their lives to get there because they are needed to fight the Mor, who have the city under seige. The Mor are monsters who live underground; they loathe the people who crossed the sea to settle in this pleasant land. Lia is an aeromancer who can summons lightning; Kirin is a necromancer who can “create” something from the bodies of the dead. However Kirin vows to never use her blood magic again as it cost the life of her unborn son while her creations are mindless atrocities that obey only her will.
Everyone fears necromancers; even her captain whose life she saves shows no gratitude towards Kirin. Instead he expels her from the Imperial Army. Although Kirin refuses to use her talent, someone is applying necromancy to eradicate the Mor. The problem with that approach is that a person would have to die to make an undead army and this necromancer has no restraints unlike Kirin.
NIGHTS OF SIN, the sequel to THE BLOOD MAGIC, is a fantastic fantasy that will appeal to sword and sorcery lovers. Matthew Cook is a talented author who creates complex flawed characters like Kirin, who struggle with doing the right thing which is not always obvious. She is especially tormented over using her blood magic that could provide the greater good but at what cost to whom; as someone pays the piper; Kirin no longer wants to decide who. Besides the syllable connection, the Mor will remind readers of the Morlock as they dwell underground and communicate in a weird way; their goal is to eradicate the humans. There are great characterizations and a strong sense of "realism" which makes for a fascinating tale as Lia fears Kirin is turning to the dark side of the magical force.