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Almost too fast paced
on 13 September 2010
The long awaited follow up to "Child of Fire".
Ray Lilly is a "Wooden Man", basically an expendable foot soldier working for the mysterious Twenty Palaces, an brutal organisation looking to contain the use of magic and those who abuse and dabble in it.
Here we have Ray joining with a Twenty Palace investigator to track the sale of a lethal predator. On arrival they discover that things have already gone horrible wrong and the body count is starting to pile up. Set in a very limited geography, a large house and then the nearby town, Ray and Catherine try to contain things until a Palaces "Peer" can get there to resolve things. Annalise (Peer from the previous novel does also make an appearance, but not until quite late) but as you might expect, Ray ends up being the main focus.
Enjoyable, but in my opinion not quite up to the standards of the firs tone. Partly because the author almost over eggs the pudding, there is so much going on that it gets confusing at times, partly because the author repeats much of the first book in his approach but fails to answer key questions or explaining much more about the Twenty Palaces. Harry Connolly can't keep on teasing us and needs to share a little! It's about time we learn more about the Twenty Palaces and Ray has a surprisingly deep affection for both Annalise and seems invigorated by work for the Palaces, neither of which is really explained.
I shall obviously buy the next one but am looking for the author to actually hoof this series forward and not give us the third version of the same thing. He has painted a very interesting world for us and he needs to let us play in it a little bit.