Friday, 27 January 2012

Review: The Serpent Tower (Volume Two of the Terrarch Chronicles) by William King

This story’s set a couple of months after the events of Death’s Angels. Not much has changed, except that Sardec’s now got a hook for a hand and (not unlike Sharpe’s success in…. Sharpe’s Rifles, I think) he now has the respect of the men.

The army’s marching through an allied state to attack the Dark Empire’s forces, when it comes across a problem. There’s a bloody enormous and impregnable tower held by a formerly friendly but now hostile chap. And he’s kidnapped the rightful queen and intends to marry her.

Also seeking to persuade the tower’s master to join their side is a loathsome pair of emissaries from the Dark Empire.

There are more of the strange monstrosities in this book than its predecessor, and I quite like that. However, the story itself feels like it should be a bit longer and perhaps have some more action. What’s there is enjoyable and easy to read, but it feels bit like a tasty meal with portions that are a bit too small. The fate of the Dark Empire emissaries would have been a nice dessert.

I like the start of the book, and the ending is surprisingly abrupt (almost as much as The Empire Strikes Back). There’s some more interesting history/lore of Gaiea revealed, and Sardec and Rik continue their development, the former becoming more sympathetic, the latter less so.

If you liked the previous book you’ll probably like this, although I wish it had been a shade longer.


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