cover image The Buried World

The Buried World

Jeff Wheeler. 47North, $14.95 trade paper (374p) ISBN 978-1-5420-1503-5

After charming young warrior Bingmei inadvertently released the evil Dragon of Night into the world of the living in The Killing Fog, the engrossing second fantasy of Wheeler’s Grave Kingdom series finds Bingmei on the run. As “the phoenix-chosen,” Bingmei is the only person capable of stopping the dragon Echion from taking over the world, much of which he has already conquered. She flees those who would sacrifice her at the Death Wall, where it is prophesied she will die to stop Echion, but fate keeps pushing her back. Meanwhile, in the Grave Kingdom, Echion plots to revive his queen, Xisi. Bingmei’s only hope of survival should Echion succeed is to forge an alliance with deadly adversaries. Though action-packed, Bingmei’s flight takes up a disproportionate amount of the narrative, postponing the meat of the tale. However, Bingmei’s eventual confrontation with Echion is satisfying, and Echion’s Grave Kingdom is chillingly described and loaded with a strange allure. Fans of Wheeler’s work and Asian-influenced fantasy will find this a worthy outing. (June)