cover image When Darkness Falls: The Obsidian Trilogy, Book 3

When Darkness Falls: The Obsidian Trilogy, Book 3

Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory, . . Tor, $27.95 (496pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-0221-2

At the start of Lackey and Mallory's highly readable conclusion to their Obsidian fantasy trilogy (after 2004's To Light a Candle ), Knight-Mage Kennen, leader of the alliance of humans and elves, has his work cut out for him when the forces of demon queen Savilla go on the offensive. Fortunately, Kennen has a powerful ally in the half-breed healer Vestakia, who because she's half demon can read the mind of her demon father and provide priceless information on their enemies. The deft handling of the romance between Kennen and Vestakia helps heighten suspense as the struggle on both the physical and magical planes grows more intense. Short scenes speed the action, which at times can be hard to follow, even for those familiar with the previous two volumes. Nonetheless, high fantasy fans should appreciate the intelligent storytelling with an unmistakable flavor of Andre Norton at her best. (July)