cover image Cry of Metal and Bone

Cry of Metal and Bone

L. Penelope. St. Martin’s Griffin, $18.99 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-1-25-014811-7

Penelope’s jam-packed, uneven third Earthsinger Chronicles fantasy picks up six weeks after the events of Whispers of Shadow and Flame as the formerly warring nations of Elisara and Lagrimar forge a thorny path to unification. Legendary Earthsinger Darvyn ol-Tahlyro is still grieving Kyara ul-Lagrimar, his missing lover, when he’s tasked with apprehending a group of separatists responsible for a deadly attack on a local temple. Meanwhile, the imprisoned Kyara battles her captors’ sinister plot to rob her of her powers. Overly detailed reintroductions to the characters slow the plot to a near-crawl until the halfway mark, when the intrigue and investigation into the attack hit high gear. Penelope’s plotting is intricate as ever and series readers will be pleased to return to her fully realized world, but an excess of political subplots and shifts in perspective too often make this a slog. Fans will hope for a return to form in the next installment. Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary. (Aug.)