Game Of Cages
Del Rey, Aug 31 2010, $7.99
A few days before Christmas, Twenty Palaces' sorcerer Catherine Little asks former convict turned grocery clerk Ray Lilly to assist her with an emergency in Washaway. When he learns the details of the mission, Ray knows he is not the right person for the job, but no one survives refusing lethal Little. Apparently, a predatory alien was on the auction block, but escaped incarceration. Little wants it captured and taken away from these street peddlers or dead; and warns her assistant he is to assist her and no more or else face her deadly wrath.
Neither Ray nor his leader expected the auction participants and staff will kill anyone using guns, magic or both who tries to catch the deadly alien or kill the beast. Meanwhile, the alien predator is devastating Washaway.
The second Twenty Palace Society rural fantasy (see Child of Fire) is a great thought provoking yet action-packed noir as readers will ponder the use of drones in the Middle east killing the enemy and the innocent. Little is a fabulous character as collateral damage of the innocent does not faze her with her bottom line mission accomplished as all that matters. People die in combat is her philosophy. Ironically Lilly is the ex convict with a conscience while Little is a societal elitist with an amoral value system. The auction crowd beliefs align with Little though she is their adversary. Filled with non-stop gory action, readers will enjoy the bloody Game of Cages.