cover image GODS' CONCUBINE: Book Two of the Troy Game

GODS' CONCUBINE: Book Two of the Troy Game

Sara Douglass, . . Tor, $27.95 (560pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-0541-1

In the long, complex second installment of her Troy Game quartet (after 2003's Hades' Daughter ), Australian author Douglass moves her teeming cast of mythic heroes from ancient Greece to 11th-century England (aka Albion). The labyrinth that Brutus, the leader of fallen Troy, established 1,000 years before has evolved into London. Harold Godwineson and William the Conqueror are engaged in a vicious power struggle that will decide not only who will rule Britain but also who will control the labyrinthine Game that underpins this ambitious fantasy series. Since the principal characters, good guys and villains alike, are regularly reborn, death is a mere inconvenience. Whether or not they remember their earlier lives, they behave just as they did in past incarnations. This inability to alter or grow lends a certain flatness to the characters, despite the space Douglass devotes to their emotional histories and motivations. Still, the admirable Caela, Harold's sister, makes a beguiling heroine and her visions of London in 1939, on the eve of WWII, provide some tantalizing glimpses of what's in store in the projected fourth and final Troy Game volume. (Mar. 1)

Forecast: Sara Douglass is the pseudonym of Sara Warneke, an academic historian. Advertising in Glamour and Allure magazines will help reach the young female target audience.