From Publishers Weekly
Despite a rocky start, Ash's new series, set in the world of her Tears of Artamon trilogy (Lord of Snow and Shadows, etc.), promises to grow into a compelling saga. When Alois Visant, Francia's head Inquisitor, accuses the entire College of Thaumaturgy of practicing magic, only two survive the purge: Linnaius, King Gobain's trusted alchymist, and his apprentice, Rieuk Mordiern. Rieuk joins a secret band of mages, only to find their leader, Arkhan, intends to turn him into a weapon to drive the Francians out of neighboring Ondhessar by stealing or discharging the four superpowerful aethyr crystals known as the Angelstones. Meanwhile, Linnaius takes the Vox Aethyria, a radiolike invention that uses magical crystals to transmit voices, to rival nation Tielen. With the multitude of characters now in place, Ash may be able to pull things together for the next installment, but the complex plot and political setting will leave some readers struggling. (Feb.)
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Homeless denizens of Seattle’s Pioneer Square are turning up dead and sometimes mutilated, but the police have no sense of urgency, given the victims’ status. Which leaves PI Harper Blaine to investigate. Having returned from the dead, she isn’t quite as human as she once was. She’s a Greywalker, with a foot on both sides of an invisible line separating the normal and paranormal worlds. She sees energy auras as easily as she does the zombies now appearing in the Underground, the city beneath the raised roads and sidewalks of modern Seattle. Even the area vampires want no part of Harper’s inquiries into an ancient Native American monster that might be reawakening during such disasters as earthquakes, fires, and the city’s subsequent reconstructions. Part Indian folklore, part detailed urban history, part PI procedural, part monster-from-the-depths horror story, the third Greywalker caper (after Greywalker, 2006, and Poltergeist, 2007) proceeds gorily and occasionally slowly through various plot twists to an inevitable showdown when forces of the past invade the present. --Whitney Scott
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