cover image The Lady

The Lady

K.V. Johansen. Pyr, $18 trade paper (445p) ISBN 978-1-61614-980-2

The action continues unabated in this dashing, magic-filled sequel to The Leopard. Outside the crossroads city of Marakand, Red Masks have fallen in a skirmish with caravaneers aided by an outland wizard and magical creatures in the form of a bear and a black dog. The Red Masks, once thought to be invulnerable servants of the goddess called the Lady of Marakand, are revealed to be animated corpses and she a necromancer. Away to the east, the enslaved Leopard, an assassin possessed by a dead demigod, leads the Lady’s army against the hill folk of the Praitannec kingdoms. Deities, demons, devils, and wizards stalk the pages alongside human heroes and others not so easily defined. Some of the magic is as quick as thought, while other magic requires lengthy rituals that border on poetry. Johansen has found a winning combination: the modern epic fantasy penchant for a cast of thousands and the golden age feeling of a tale of Conan or Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser dueling with gods gone mad. [em](Dec.) [/em]