Magic, deceit, necromancy–what’s not to love?
I had a little debate with myself about how to rate this book, but in the end, I went with my gut. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series [bc:The Spirit Lens|6678976|The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica, #1)|Carol Berg|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1329826086s/6678976.jpg|6874182] and was a bit dismayed at first to find that this volume, set five years later, features a different protagonist, Anne de Varnese.
However, that change of perspective allows Berg to perform some delightful Evil Author Tricks–creating tension between Anne’s view of the events and characters of the previous work and what the reader knows. Anne is, after all, the daughter of the Great Traitor uncovered (but never captured) by the efforts of Portier in the first book.
This book layers secrets and mysteries, drawing the reader along with Anne into a complex and gripping web, not knowing who to trust. So why did I hesitate over my rating? Well, I did figure out the solutions to a couple of the mysteries rather earlier than I should. Ordinarily, that would result in my lessening the grade. . . if this book had not also made me late for work in my frenzy to finish reading it.
Y’know how many reviews or book covers will claim that you can’t put it down? In this case, for this reviewer, that was true. I loathed every minute I must be parted from this book. I knew some of the secrets, and I didn’t care–I was still enthralled, eager to read more.
Highly recommended to lovers of complicated, harrowing, character-driven fantasy.