Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Dread-Gail Z. Martin

The Dread

Gail Z. Martin

Orbit, Feb 1 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780316093613

Weary of war but knowing hostilities are heating up; tired King Donelan of Isencroft goes to lie down in his bed. However, an assassin rigged a bow contraption underneath, which is activated when the monarch’s weight hit the bed. The ruler is dead and the kingdom is on the verge of civil war. Donelan’s daughter Queen Kiara Sharsequin Drayke leaves her husband and child behind in Margolan to go home as the monarch and prevent the civil war at a time when external crisis threatens the country.

Elsewhere in the Winter Kingdoms, trouble has returned with the bellicose rise of normally isolated Temnotta. At the same time, Kiara’s mate Summoner-King Martris Drayke (see Chronicles of the Necromancer) struggles with sorcery and steel combat coming to his nation at a time Tris fears for the soul of his infant child while he must use forbidden magic to deal the rise of the Dread.

The latest Fallen King’s Cycle political-military fantasy (see The Sworn) starts off with the shocking assassination, but slows down immediately afterward while the numerous subplots are established. Once done, the storyline accelerates into a rousing thriller as war has returned to the Winter Kingdoms. Filled with minute details, fans will believe they traverse the dangerous realms of the Martin mythos.

Harriet Klausner

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