3 out of 5 stars
Delphine Venner has been around a long time, whilst some people the same age as her have fading memories, she has not forgotten anything. She remembers being a child of war, and fighting for her life, she remembers the gateway and the world and terrifying creatures that live the other side of it. Most of all she remember those that she lost. She is offered a chance to pass through the gateway once again. On the other side of the gateway is someone who has been an assassin for centuries. She is waiting for her.
This assassin, Hagar, is planning one last kill, and this death will cost demand from her everything she has, but to do it she needs Delphine. She is there to find her father but is dragged unwittingly into this, the whole society descends into chaos. Venner must learn the art of fighting once again in the battle to destroy an ageless evil.
I hadn’t read the first in the series before picking this book up, and while you didn’t have to have read the first one, I think that the context from the first books would have helped me with a greater understanding of the characters. It has a complex plot with lots going on too and occasionally you have to put the books down and take a moment to get it clear in your head just what was happening. It has a frantic pace at the end and probably not one for the squeamish at times. At times it was very weird but in a Miéville sort of way. That said, this is a richly imagined book of two linked worlds and a very different fantasy from what you might have read in the past. It has a sumptuous cover too.