cover image The Hounds of Avalon: The Dark Age, Book 3

The Hounds of Avalon: The Dark Age, Book 3

Mark Chadbourn, Pyr, $16 paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-61614-203-2

Chadbourn closes his second trilogy of a Britain changed by the return of magic (after 2010's The Queen of Sinister) with battles against an army of undead and a hidden quest for a sleeping king. Amid a cheerful jumble of myths and conspiracy theories, Chadbourn's five chosen heroes race ahead of Fimbulwinter, the Norse apocalyptic deep freeze, to recover sacred artifacts and recruit Celtic gods. Not helping are the remnants of the U.K. government, holed up in Oxford and plotting nuclear strikes on mythic figures. Chadbourn nicely portrays the struggles of people given an opportunity for greatness for reasons outside of their control, but the abrupt ending to their story does little to improve this conglomeration of mysticism and quantum physics wrapped in a fluffy New Age coating. (July)