June 30, 2015

Kingdoms of the Night by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch

Title:  Kingdoms of the Night
Author:  Allan Cole & Chris Bunch
Pages:  481
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Del Rey, 1995

Synopsis:  Amalric Antero, adventurer and confidant of kings, had grown old before his time. His discoveries had brought peace and countless riches to his beloved city of Orissa. But his wife, Omerye, had recently died; his sister, Rali, had disappeared some time ago while on a dangerous expedition; and his son--his only child--was a grave disappointment. All around him, Amalric saw his generation being carried away, and he, himself, was beginning to feel the cold fingers of death.

But then a mysterious figure intruded on his winter years. She claimed to be the great-granddaughter of Janos Greycloak, master-wizard and betrayer of Amalric's youth, and she had come to issue a challenge: The idyllic and magical land he and Janos had discovered had not been the Far Kingdoms. In fact, the real Far Kingdoms--the Kingdoms of the Night--had yet to be found, and only she knew where that realm of myth lay.

As she spoke, a veil was ripped from Amalric's eyes.

The people of Orissa believed--thanks to Amalric and Rali's discoveries--that they were living in a Golden Age, an age of many blessings that would never end. But Amalric now realized that dark forces threatened his beloved city. Several expeditions seeking to broaden Orissa's horizons had met with disaster. In fact, the boundaries of Orissa's "known world" had actually been shrinking. Areas he and Rali had opened had dropped off the map, back into legend and obscurity.

It looked as if the Kingdoms of the Night were all that stood between civilization and unimaginably evil powers from another world. But the strength of the Kingdoms was flagging. Unless chaos was to reign once more, Amalric must throw off his old man's robes and join Janela in her search for the Kingdoms of the Night.

And so Amalric set out once again across forbidden seas and a nightmare-blasted landscape, on an expedition haunted by betrayal and stalked by a rogue army, with little more than his wits and the magic of another Greycloak to aid him. For only if Amalric and Janela succeed in unraveling the secrets of the Old Ones and locking the door between realities can civilization's plunge into darkness be stopped...

Review:  Not as good as the last one.  Good, but not nearly as good.  My favorite character, Rali, is missing completely.  It had me hooked until the very end, which turned strange and a little unbelievable in my opinion.  I'm all for time travel and demons, but beating a demon by time travelling and then discovering that you can commit suicide and, with the help of spells, go to a much better place just didn't cut it for me.  Thankfully, the last book brings Rali (and maybe some sense) back to the series.

Rating:  5.5 / 10

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