cover image The Liar’s Knot

The Liar’s Knot

M.A. Carrick. Orbit, $18.99 trade paper (688p) ISBN 978-0-316-53971-5

The jam-packed second Rook and Rose epic fantasy (following Mask of Mirrors) from Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms writing as Carrick, finds heroine Renata juggling multiple personas in a precarious balancing act that inevitably crashes to the ground. Ren uses her new status as an official member of House Traementis to try to lift the family curse—but soon discovers that it’s intimately tied to the ancient tyrannical power that once ruled the city of Nadežra. As Nadežra slowly crumbles, Capt. Grey Serrado’s quest to free the city and his desire to avenge his brother’s death fight for dominance. His missions continually pit him against crime lord Derossi Vargo, who’s determined to make a name for himself among the nobility while at the same time uncovering a murderer. As these plots converge, masks are removed and the key players reluctantly join forces to face a long-forgotten evil. True to the title, there are plenty of lies to go around and unraveling them involves a dizzying secondary cast. Readers will be challenged to keep track of who knows which secret while simultaneously mastering the intricacies of the magic system. The result leaves many of the characters underdeveloped, but fans of complicated puzzles and mystery will be satisfied. Agent: for Brennan, Eddie Schneider, Jabberwocky; for Helms, Paul Stevens, DMLA. (Jan.)