Destroyer of Worlds: Kingdom of the Serpent, Book 3

Mark Chadbourn. Pyr, $17.95 trade paper (390p) ISBN 978-1-61614-617-7

The champions of Existence undertake one last battle against the Void in this concluding volume (after 2012’s globe-trotting The Burning Man) of Chadbourn’s latest trilogy set in a Britain where magic is returning. Jack “Church” Churchill, faced with betrayals by companions and double-edged help from allies, has to lead his Army of Dragons into the Fortress of the Void to destroy the Burning Man colossus before the Void can manifest. The greatest struggles, though, are internal. Church must resist the temptation of despair that will change him into the Libertarian, the Void’s champion. Ryan Veitch, returned from the Void’s service, has to come to terms with his feelings for Ruth, Church’s love, as well as his own desire for Church’s honors. Chadbourn produces a merry mélange of mythological and invented beings wrapped around an egalitarian ethos that ennobles hardships and promises “magic, not money.” Agent: Ian Drury, Sheil Land Associates. (May)