From Publishers Weekly
In Murphy's crisply written sequel to 2008's alternate history The Queen's Bastard
, aliens known as the Heseth, the people of the sun, have visited Earth in what would be our 16th century, but the supernatural elements are limited to the occasional use of magical abilities. The plot is more focused on the struggle for power in Echon (Europe), which features familiar rivalries between Aulun (England), Gallin (France) and the Prussian Confederation. As political tensions heat up, Belinda, the witchfire-wielding assassin and illegitimate daughter of Aulun's Queen Lorraine, faces relationship problems with Javier de Castille, prince of Essandia (Spain) and Gallin, and with her overbearing mother. Murphy tends toward long discussions of war, succession and various attempts by the Heseth to influence human development, mostly balanced by clever intrigue and raw, explicit sex scenes. (May)
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The much-anticipated sequel to The Queen’s Bastard (2008) won’t disappoint patient readers willing to dedicate time and thought to the myriad political machinations in the weighty first nine-tenths of the book. Belinda Primrose, back in Aulun, is finally recognized after saving the navy from the Gallin Armada while being mistaken for the Madonna. Javier de Castille’s witch-power is deemed a gift from God by the Pappas, allowing him latitude to use it as he wars against Aulun, attempting to bring it back into the ecumenical fold. Battles, marriages, assassinations, changes of allegiance, and political intrigue strip the protagonists down to their cores as they lose everything and gain something else. With secrets of Belinda’s and Javier’s true beginnings revealed, Belinda reevaluates her fealty to an alien queen lurking in space and her responsibilities to the world into which she was born. Readers will have to await future installments of the Inheritors’ Cycle to know how it all finally comes out. --Herald Diana Tixier