cover image Noonshade: Chronicles of the Raven, Book 2

Noonshade: Chronicles of the Raven, Book 2

James Barclay, . . Pyr, $16 (423pp) ISBN 978-1-59102-782-9

As the mercenary band the Raven and their mage and mundane allies continue their wartime trials (begun in 2009's Dawnthief ), yesterday's solution becomes today's problem. After banishing the Wytch Lords with the Dawnthief spell, the Raven realize they've ripped a hole in their dimension. They must piece together clues left by dimension-traveler Septern in the eastern lands before enemy dragons destroy them all. Meanwhile, the barbarian Wesmen's invasion of the eastern lands still rages. Individual voices stand out, though the action cuts back and forth among battles on land and in air, sieges, arcane rituals and quiet conversations of longtime companions. Despite RPG-style dialogue and fantasy standards like supercilious elves and imperious dragons, Barclay's novel arcana, such as a cadre of warriors with shared souls, are mostly enough to keep readers intrigued. (Oct.)