More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of her country, Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.
Liliath’s quest centres round four young Sarancians, all seemingly different but who share something very important. There is Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic.
The four feel a strange, immediate kinship for each other from the moment they meet, but they do not know why, or suspect their importance. Only Liliath knows their secret, and she aims to draw them in to her complex plot, just as she manipulates the Queen and her musketeers and everyone else around here.
The four friends must learn to rely on each other and each of their unique skills if they’re going to stand a chance to outwit Liliath and the angels she commands.
Review: I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The cover art is gorgeous and reflective of the faith icons used to engage the magic in this world and that’s where we will start.
The magic is different, both in casting and consequence. The world has deific entities – these being Angels which can be summoned if the correct icon is used (reflective of specific Angel) to command a wide range of powerful effects with the cost being the loss of lifeforce, or rather – premature aging. It’s a cost-specific function in which due care is given to the usage of spells because of the cost involved, with the cost being reflective of the Stature of the Angel summoned and the magnitude of the spell with rare individuals who are more resistant to the cost than others.
It’s a well thought out and interesting system which meshes into the world well and helps to set up the prominent plot line. Liliath is wonderful. She’s young, powerful, ageless, able to cast spells without repercussion and able to bend any angel to her will. Which frankly, makes her terrifying. Her single minded obsession with bringing back Palleniel (her fallen love) regardless of cost and the use of subterfuge, threats, spells and violence to get where she needs to be is great to read. Add the four main characters who are drawn into said “need” a pinch of Musketeers, a smattering of Rochefort, a few beastlings and some fairly upset Angels and this is a delightful book which I am happy to recommend.
Review by: @Angelhearte
Expected publication: October 17th 2019 by Gollancz
GARTH NIX is an Australian writer known for his global bestseller SABRIEL. Before becoming a fantasy writer, he worked his way through the publishing industry, as a bookseller, sales rep, publicist, editor and then literary agent. He is a multiple bestselling author, and winner – twice – of the Aurealis Award. He lives in Sydney, Australia. Learn more by visiting http://www.garthnix.com or by following @garthnix