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Mother of Lies Hardcover – May 15, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Heroes and villains charge toward a satisfying climax in the violent, intrigue-filled conclusion to Duncan's two-volume epic fantasy (after 2006's Children of Chaos), set on a dodecahedral world. The four young sibling heirs to the dying Doge of Florengia, who were kidnapped and separated years earlier by the Bloodlord Stralg, have grown to adulthood and finally been reunited by the Liberators, led by brash Marno Cavotti (aka the Mutineer). As they fight their way homeward, Stralg's bloodthirsty, fanatical sister, Saltaja Hragsdor, begins her own march on Florengia, intent on setting her brother's bastard son on the doge's throne. One well-choreographed combat scene follows another. Some playful sibling rivalry provides comic relief. This smartly plotted fantasy should please not only Duncan's many loyal fans but also those who enjoy the work of Terry Goodkind and Jennifer Fallon. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The four exiled children of Celebre struggle to return home before the doge dies and their mother loses power. Marno Cavotti's liberation movement is gaining in its fight against Bloodlord Stralg's forces. Stralg's sister Saltaja will stop at nothing to dominate two faces of their dodecahedral world, and as a Chosen of Xaran, mother of lies, she has some terrifying powers. Fortunately, the homebound exiles are all god-touched, and Fabia has her own link to Xaran. But which of the four will ascend the throne? Duncan handles both political and sibling rivalries well in the satisfying and conclusive sequel to Children of Chaos (2006). Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Mother of Lies (and Children of Chaos which precedes it) are not Duncan's finest works. However, his finest works are very fine indeed whereas these books are just an excellent, engaging read. I did enjoy reading them both very much and was quite sad when they were done. All loose threads tied, story all tied up in a neat bow.
As with all of Duncan's books, I felt a strong affinity for the characters and the story moved along at a good pace, with multiple threads interwoven. The analysis of nature versus nurture was quite intriguing
The background for the story consists of the unique world -- a dodecahedron -- and a magic system in which 12 distinct gods assist their followers in directly affecting the world. What could have been a trite or simplistic approach instead comes out in interesting, complex (but thankfully not overly-so) interactions, as we watch the primary characters grow.
Sadly, the books are relatively short, and at least so far, two is all you get. Because the story takes place on only two of the world's faces, it seems a fertile environment for additional books set in the same universe. As you can guess, I really hope this to be the case.
For the fans of the previous works by Duncan I would say only that in my opinion "Mother of lies" is one of the best books by this author. The characters are complex and interesting, and the plot has so many twists and surprises, that I actually had to go for a very long lunch break, to be able to finish the book.
For new readers who never has heard about Dave Duncan - please do yourself a favor and grab "Children of Chaos" (the first book in "The Dodec Books" series). If you love fantasy books, you will not be disappointed.
If you enjoy adventures spiced with magic, drama, romance and tales of loyalty, then I know you'll chuckle, you'll cry, and you won't be able to put this down!
Would add that others have suggested the King's Blades books by him. Those are good books, but the best by far is the Seventh Sword series starting with The Reluctant Swordsman (my favorite fantasy series ever). It currently has 19 ratings all of them 5 stars! It shows how someone from our world might really react if thrown into one where magic/gods really existed.
Duncan also has two other excellent fantasy series: One is Man of his Word series (first book is The Magic Casement).
If you like creative, intelligent fantasy, lots to look forward to.