Science fiction and fantasy
by Vera Nazarian
We meet Rumanar Avalais, the beautiful ruler of the Sapphire Court, who inspires slavish devotion. Rumanar is planning military moves against the Realm, in conjunction with Duke Hoarfrost and his army of the dead.
Meanwhile, Percy and her friends travel south through dangers such as undead soldiers, on a quest to find the Cobweb Bride and restore the world to the way it once was.
There are a couple of slow-burn growing romances. This makes it a sweet story, although there are some gruesome and shocking scenes to provide contrast. There is tension as a couple of spies in court play dangerous games that could easily go very wrong for them. Elsewhere we follow the trail of a small group of prisoners in an underground keep as they attempt to escape through twilight tunnels.
Cobweb Empire is intense rather than funny, and it features some likeable characters who I really warmed to and rooted for. It also has its share of villains. However, there are also twists and intrigue to keep the story interesting and to prevent it from becoming too obvious. From the quasi-Renaissance setting to the high magic, the non-standard characters, and the poetic language used, this novel doesn't quite conform to expected patterns. It's unusual enough to make it intriguing without being confusing or overly weird. It's a worthy sequel to Cobweb Bride which left me eager to read the next part of the trilogy.
24th December 2019
If you like this, try:The Enterprise Of Death by Jesse Bullington
A story of necromancy, warfare and painting in Renaissance Europe.
Review © Ros Jackson
Source: own copy