February 7, 2015

Mother of Lies by Dave Duncan

Title:  Mother of Lies
Author:  Dave Duncan
Pages:  348
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  2007, Tor Books
Series:  Dodec, Book 2
"Mother Xaran is goddess of blood and birth, death and the cold earth. Death is not always evil. It can be a release, or a judgment. Birth is also Hers, because without birth there could be no death; without death we could not have birth, else we should fill the world, shoulder to shoulder."
Synopsis:  The past fifteen years have not been kind to Celebre, the greatest city on the Florengian face of a dodecahedral world. Its walls have been breached and its Doge humiliated by the evil Bloodlord Stralg; all four of its heirs kidnapped and taken over the Edge to Vigaelia; its Dogaressa forcibly impregnated by Stralg and--when her husband’s health begins to fail--left to rule over a city teeming with Stralg’s troops. And if you think Stralg is bad, wait until you meet his sister Saltaja, a fanatic who sees no human cost as too great to keep the Hrag dynasty in power and her goddess--evil Xaran, the Mother of Lies--appeased.

But there are a few great hopes for the future of the city: the Mutineer, Marno Cavotti, who will not stand to see his hometown destroyed and is massing a powerful liberation movement mere inches beyond Stralg’s grasp. And the four heirs of Celebre--each with god-given expertise in their respective fields of artistry, combat, wisdom, or death--are wending their way back over the Edge to their birthplace. Of course, even as Marno and the Celebre children are working towards the common goal of defeating the Hrags, they’re all painfully aware that once that hurdle is crossed only one of them can wind up on the throne.

Continuing the storyline set out in Children of Chaos, Mother of Lies is a fierce, kinetic romp that will keep readers guessing until the last blow is dealt.

Review:  While not quite as good as the first novel of this series, this book was still very good.  There was plenty of action, several new characters, and plenty of suspense.  I am sorry to say, though, that yet another of the supposedly strong female characters fell to 'true love' and became less than she was.  Although Fabia did not turn into quite the complete idiot that the female character in the last book did, she seemingly became nothing more than a wife and mother towards the end, unable to make decisions without her new husband.  She was my favorite character, with plenty of strength and determination, so it was a shame.

The promised discussion of the planet and its odd shape took place in the appendix.  It would seem that the world is actually 12-sided.  Even though the author admits this is impossible, he goes on to explain the weather and seasonal changes brought on by the shape, using some pretty technical terms, most of which went a little over my head.  It doesn't bother me though.  I'm happy enough to believe in his strange world, with its fantastic landscapes and intriguing people.  We never do get to see any of the other realms.  I wonder if he had intended to write more books about the other faces of the world and just never did.

I'm sorry that he didn't.  I'd have read them.

Rating:  8 / 10

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