From Publishers Weekly
Addressing such wide-ranging topics as absolution, kindness and cruelty, Bear mixes classic and modern supernatural archetypes to craft a beautiful tale whose reach exceeds its grasp. Seven years after the antifairy Promethean Society was nearly destroyed (as chronicled in Blood and Iron
), Fae, devils and humans begin further duels for power and their immortal souls. Seeking vengeance, Christopher Marlowe leaves Lucifer's household and challenges the Promethean Mage Jane Andraste to a duel. Meanwhile, Lucifer enrages Satan by requesting an audience with God, and Àine, the queen of the Unseelie Court, tries to unseat Jane's granddaughter, Elaine, as Faerie Queen. These battles occur simultaneously, straining the reader's ability to keep track of each character's multiple machinations. In fact, so many fabulous characters appear (Morgan le Fey, Fionnghuala, the archangel Michael, etc.) that the book desperately needs a complete list of its dramatis personae and their multiple aliases to give the reader a fighting chance to fully enjoy this idiosyncratic fantasy. (July)
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Seven years after Matthew ended the age-old war between the Prometheans and Faerie, matters are heating up again. Promethean archmage Jane Andraste is trying to rebuild her power, starting with some new apprentices. The Faerie queen rests uneasily on her throne, with both her son and Cat Anna, queen of the unseelie fae, plotting to take her place. The devils of Hell grow tired of damnation, and play their own mysterious roles in the whole matter. A certain poet, lately of Hell, has left to seek personal revenge. As protector of New York, Matthew no longer controls his own power yet does what he can. After he's first on the scene at a murder that looks like a fae matter, he tangles with Jane again, trying to prevent her from using the killing as pretext for renewed war with Faerie. A byzantine plot, in which politics become ever more complex, and fascinating, occasionally infuriating, never-dull characters make this a worthy successor to Blood and Iron (2006). Schroeder, Regina