Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Kingdoms Of Dust-Amanda Downum

The Kingdoms Of Dust

Amanda Downum

Orbit, Mar 1 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780316068987

The recent disastrous events evolved from her investigation into a dead whore wearing the ring of the deceased queen of Selafai to Isyllt Iskaldur's master dying and assassins stalking her. Not only has she lost her position as the necromancer Agent of the Crown, she is exiled from the royal city of Erisin (see The Bone Palace). She and her mercenary friend Adam travel across the Caelurean Sea receiving sanctuary at the court of the Assari.

Dormant ancient spirits of entropy begin to awaken. If they break out of the imprisonment of dedicated mages, these spirits will destroy Assar and its neighbors. Isyllt and Asheris al Seth the jinn bound to a human body travel into the deadly burning desert in search of the lost ancient city of Qais. There they seek the vortex where the lethal ghost winds emanate from. If they find the city, they still have to figure out how to shut down the terrorizing ghost winds.

The latest Necromancer Chronicles fantasy series (see The Drowning City) is a great tale as Amanda Downum once again combines morality on an individual scale against the ethics of the greater good. Isyllt is the focus of the dilemma as she wonders whose needs belong on top of the food chain at the cost to others. She feels for her partner who fumes against his binding but she needs him to save humanity; she empathizes with the bound spirits trying to break out but also knows if freed they will destroy their mage guards (who she admires for their self-sacrificing vigil) and humanity. Filled with plenty of fast-paced action, The Kingdoms of Dust is fantasy at its most exciting morally thought provoking best.

Harriet Klausner

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