cover image The Martyr

The Martyr

Anthony Ryan. Orbit, $17.99 trade paper (600p) ISBN 978-0-316-43080-7

Ryan again showcases his gift for epic fantasy in his excellent sequel to The Pariah. Former outlaw Alwyn Scribe is now a spymaster for noblewoman warrior Evadine Courlain, who’s widely believed to be a Risen Martyr for having apparently survived death, making her a threat to both the church and the monarchy. Evadine’s new celebrity comes with increased risks, and Alwyn fears her latest assignment may be a suicide mission; King Tomas Algathinet orders her to travel to Walvern Castle and hold it in his name. The edifice is rife with breaches, and Alwyn suspects that Tomas hopes it will be overrun and Evadine eliminated. That intrigue is but one of the challenges the protagonists face, as Evadine has visions of a cataclysmic event known as the Second Scourge, which may imperil the entire world—but which Evadine believes she is destined to thwart. Ryan’s evocative prose enhances the suspenseful, intricate story, and the cliffhanger ending will have fans counting the days until the next volume. This fires on all cylinders. Agent: Paul Lucas, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (June)