cover image The Basilisk Throne

The Basilisk Throne

Greg Keyes. Titan, $16.95 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-1-78909-548-7

For this rollicking high fantasy, Keyes (Realms of the Breathless) unites the human kingdoms of Ophion, Velesa, and Modjal against the nonhuman Drehhu empire, evil magicians who have enslaved many humans and rule over all from the Basilisk Throne. Adm. Alastor Nevelon of rural Orphion teaches his son, Crespin, leadership and manhood while sailing against the throne with the attacking Ophion armada, and sends his spunky daughter, Chrysanthe, as a hostage and spy to a hostile household. Meanwhile, in the spooky abode of mysterious sorcerer Veulkh, young sex-slave Ammolite works to escape, helped by a near-feral youth called Hound. Behind all the personal and political machinations lurks the enigmatic Cryptarchia, a secretive sect with its own agenda. Hornblower-esque naval engagements, sexy intrigue among the Ophion elites, and shape-shifting wizardly entanglements ensue, with plenty of colorful locales, abundant magic, and solidly convincing character development along the way. This entertaining yarn is sure to leave high fantasy fans hungry for more. (Apr.)