Goodkind (the Sword of Truth Series) brings his typical epic scope to this slow-building second volume of the Nicci Chronicles. Reformed evil sorceress Nicci, newly powerless wizard Nathan, and overeager warrior Bannon travel widely to spread the word of benevolent emperor Rahl. When they arrive at Ildakar, they are surprised to discover a spell has kept the city hidden, safe, and frozen in time for 15 centuries. The city’s culture relies heavily on brutalizing the enslaved masses to perpetuate the hedonistic entertainments of the powerful wizard leaders, including icy Sovrena Thora and her smug and despised husband, Maxim. Goodkind’s boundless worldbuilding provides a complex setting for the newcomers as they reveal horrifying secrets and start to chafe against the injustice. Nicci’s growing righteous indignation parallels the shadowy rebellion led by the anonymous Mirrormask, while Nathan acts somewhat more conciliatory in hopes that these wizards can return his abilities. A secondary plot involving two groups of scholars racing to a legendary library is an underdeveloped distraction, and the draconian ruling council’s tolerance of Nicci’s feisty opposition is rather unbelievable. However, the intriguing mythologies and the excitement of the final, all-consuming melee will resonate with fans of classic fantasy. Agent: Russ Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/08/2018 Release date: 01/09/2018 Genre: Fiction
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