The second in a projected trilogy, this deeply complex fantasy follows on from Chopin’s Ghost, taking the reader through the next twisting, convoluted maze that constitutes the story. If you haven’t read the first book, I advise you do so. However, the author includes enough detail from that first novel to allow readers new to the story to pick up very well.
This, like the first, is a book that’s difficult to classify. It is fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, historical fiction, romance, crime and erotic all in one package. Melding the pre-Inca myths of Veracocha with the early Egyptian accounts of gods and goddesses, the background to this story involves much imaginative speculation and a great deal of a fairly specific type of witchcraft.
Deeply researched, there are odd occasions when the author’s enthusiasm for the theories, myths, legends and results of recent archaeological findings spill over into the story. Those with an interest in history, religion, the role of legend and myth will find much to enjoy here.
But the story is, at heart, both a romance and a depiction of familial relationships. It is this humanity that carries all the fantasy elements and allows the reader to suspend disbelief so that the tale can be enjoyed.
There is a lot going on in this book and its 428 pages are crammed pretty full. But I do question the need to present the same events from several points of view in quite such detail. That’s nit-picking and probably the observation of a reader who’s also a writer. There is a good deal of sexual activity in this volume, but it is all relevant to the story rather than gratuitous. The book also contains some pretty gruesome violence, so be aware.
The characters, complex, individual, flawed and brilliant, are drawn with such care that the reader gets to know them well. They carry the story, and, as character-led fiction is so much more sustaining than the plot-driven variety, this is a book that holds the reader’s attention and provides a very satisfying read.
Several quasi-denouements precede the actual closing episode, but they build the tension along the way. And the actual climax is full of action, emotion and event.
To read my review of Chopin’s Ghost click this link.