THE MASK AND THE SORCERESS

Dennis Jones, Author THE MASK AND THE SORCERESS De $25 (464p) ISBN 978-0-380-97802-1

Readers will find above average but not outstanding high fantasy in this second book of Jones's The House of the Pandragore trilogy. Wicked sorceress Princess Theatana escapes from her island prison and makes her way to a forgotten, distant land, where she plots both magical and material revenge on her sister and brother-in-law who rule the Ascendency. However, when her nephew, Ilarion, discovers the escape, he goes in hot pursuit. Theatana schemes her way from court to court, seeking to strengthen her dark sorcery. Meanwhile pirates capture Ilarion, who barely manages to survive being sold into slavery to a sadistic potentate. The climax of the book is a no-holds-barred confrontation of aunt and nephew over the legendary Mask of the Adversary, an ancient magical artifact of considerable but unknown powers. Weaving the story out of classic or even stock elements, the author competently handles world building, characterization and pacing. Enough of the backstory enters to enlighten readers unfamiliar with the first volume in the trilogy, The Stone and the Maiden (1999). And by not closing on a cliffhanger, the book plays fairer with the reader than some more famous serial works of high fantasy. (Apr. 12)

Forecast:The previous book received mixed reviews, but with this novel featuring supportive blurbs from Robin Hobb and Anne McCaffrey, the following for this series could grow.

Reviewed on: 02/19/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 464 pages - 978-0-380-80619-5
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