cover image The Serpent Bride: Darkglass Mountain, Book 1

The Serpent Bride: Darkglass Mountain, Book 1

Sara Douglass, . . Eos, $26.95 (627pp) ISBN 978-0-060-88213-6

Set in a world evocative of ancient Egypt, the dark, sensuous first in a new fantasy series from Australian author Douglass picks up five years after the events in 2006's Crusader , the conclusion to her Wayfarer Redemption series. Lady Ishbel Brunelle, an archpriestess of the Order of the Coil (whose members use the bowels of living men to foretell the future), is ordered by the order's Great Serpent, who appears as a speaking apparition, to marry Maximilian Persimius, king of the coastal kingdom of Escator. Despite a terrifying childhood vision that warned her of such an eventuality, she agrees and quickly becomes pregnant. Meanwhile, Kanubai, an evil godlike being, stirs beneath the Darkglass Mountain, a four-sided pyramid in the land of Isembaard ruled by the tyrant Isaiah. Kanubai convinces Isaiah's insane brother to deliver a sacrifice and an ancient artifact that will free him from the mountain. Most of the characters are drowning in emotional quagmires, which hopefully future installments will dispel. (May)