cover image The Twisted Citadel: DarkGlass Mountain, Book Two

The Twisted Citadel: DarkGlass Mountain, Book Two

Sara Douglass, . . Eos, $25.95 (552pp) ISBN 978-0-06-088215-0

A hefty and welcome glossary of characters connects this sophomoric second installment of the DarkGlass Mountain trilogy to its predecessor, 2007’s The Serpent Bride . Maximilian, king of Escator, and his former queen, Ishbel, struggle to decide whether to repair or fully end their romance, while Isaiah, Maximilian’s military leader, and Axis SunSoar, a heroic winged Icarii enchanter, debate how to combat the demonic god Kanubai, who has been absorbed into the DarkGlass Mountain and now poses an even greater threat. Those familiar with Douglass’s earlier Axis Trilogy may savor the intricate interplay between humans, Icarii and their mysterious Lealfast cousins, and the Gollum-like Skraelings, but grisly scenes frequently disrupt the flow of the story, and Douglass’s chatty abandonment of epic tone (“You are in a pickle, Maximilian”) often snaps the necessary suspension of disbelief. Maximilian’s weariness over endless wandering that gets him nowhere proves an apt metaphor for the story. (June)