King of the Dead – R.A. MacAvoy

King of the Dead

Summary

Nazhuret and Arlin, now at last a couple, are tasked by Velonya's king with stopping a war, using only their wits, skills, and a tenuous family relationship.

Review

This second in the Nazhuret trilogy is not quite as strong as the first, in part because the approach is simply more familiar, but also because, while it brings in more actual magic, it also leaves too many threads unresolved or poorly resolved. The prose and characters, however, remain respectively fluid and engaging.

The center of the book is its strongest portion. It seems to take MacAvoy some time to get things moving, and until Nazhuret and Arlin’s journey properly begins, the story hasn’t found its footing. The book is at its strongest when Nazhuret is discovering the world and himself, applying his natural curiosity. The ending slows again. In part, the chief resolution is foreseeable for quite some distance. Also, when it is resolved, it’s handled quite quickly and without much apparent interest from the author. And one promising thread is not addressed at all.

Overall, the prose and characters remain strong, but the storytelling isn’t quite up to the level of its predecessor.

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