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Dark knight falls.
on 9 May 2012
The war with the Dominiar knights is over and another potential demonsouled tyrant has been crushed. On their return to the Grim Marches Mazael has to confront a dire threat that has arisen in his absence.
The SanKeth steal Rachels child and another force has arisen - the knight Ultorin and his mage Mavlavost have raised an army of Malavags. They rampage accross the marches with a huge army and Ultorin seems invincible even against Mazaels demonsouled prowess. Malavosts nights are haunted by dreams of a giant black wolf and they are all drawn to Deepforest keep home of the Elderborn. Lucien struggles with the consequences of his increasing use of dark magic.
The story is a race - to find the missing child and beat Ultorin and Malavost to Deepforest keep. Along the way the usual epic battles are fought against desperate odds. The writing is good , but its becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate the elements of one book from another as the formula begins to become very repetitive.
There are several plot threads that stand out from the background - Luciens conflicted use of dark magic, Rachels desperate search for her missing child and the Black wolf substory. Much as I enjoy the background of sword and sorcery - there is too much emphasis on the fighting These storyline elements are treated as cursory reasons for the battles to happen rather than the opposite. Each of them is a good plotline and the characters involved are interesting but not emotionally developed as much as they could be. The result is an intellectual appreciation of the characters and motivations, without a full emotional connection to them. The appreciation of their desperation isnt as visceral as in the first book. Mueller still delivers his trademark twists and turns along the way , but as is often case in a series the novelty isnt there to the same extent.
Still a very good book and incredibly good value. Muellers still on good form but maybe give yourself some time - and dont read them all back to back or the books might seem very formulaic.