cover image The Ivory Tomb

The Ivory Tomb

Melissa Caruso. Orbit, $17.99 trade paper (544p) ISBN 978-0-316-45439-1

The war against the Nine Demons closes with both bangs and whimpers in the vigorous finale to Caruso’s Rooks and Ruins trilogy (after The Quicksilver Court). Ryxander “Ryx” of Morgrain, former Warden of Gloamingard Castle, now shares a mind with the Demon of Disaster but still fights to rid her world of the remaining free Demons—among them her grandmother, who herself has merged with the Demon of Discord. This task is made harder by her wary human allies, who are suspicious of the demon in Ryx’s head. As the Demon of Corruption ravishes villages, Ryx tries to negotiate surrender with the more reasonable Demons while simultaneously working to avoid becoming a test subject for anti-Demon devices and regain control over the Black Tower inside Gloamingard, where lies the door to hell. Luckily, her growing attraction to Severin, the brother of her nemesis, the Shrike Lord, helps to anchor her human side. Caruso walks a fine line between horror and humor and keeps the narrative from feeling too familiar with inventive demonic duels. Followers of the series will be rewarded with a tried-and-true but not at all trite triumph. Agent: Naomi Davis, BookEnds Literary. (Dec.)