Gail Z. Martin
Orbit, Feb 1 2011, $7.99
Between the civil war, the famine and the plague, the Winter Kingdoms remain in deep trouble. No one can handle another catastrophe. Yet that is exactly what beleaguered Summoner-King Martris Drayke faces.
The Dark Mages using blood magic have invaded at a time when the Winter Kingdoms still teeter on the brink of imploding. King Tris needs allies immediately as the enemy begins it feral assaults, but his mostly likely sources are new monarchs lacking combat experience especially with the enemy being ruthless killers. Adding to his fears is rumors that the Dread are rising from their millennia dormancy, but who is raising them is the actual concern as the King believes the Blood Mages are behind this awakening and may have control of them. His only hope to save the Winters Kingdom reside with the Sworn nomads whose mission for centuries has been to protect the Dread. As Tris tries to gain the support of the Sworn he also wonders if they might betray him out of their oath to protect the Dread who might serve the Blood Mages.
Returning to the realm of The Chronicles of the Necromancer (see The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven and Dark Lady’s Chosen) Gail Z. Martin starts a new exhilarating epic fantasy, The Fallen Kings Cycle. The story line is fast-paced and filled with plenty of action as well as sets the conflict and establishes key players. Fans of the previous saga will find the opening of the second act at the high level of excellence expected from Ms. Marin.