Author: Greg Keyes
Series: The Elder Scrolls #2
Forty years after the Oblivion crisis, the empire of Tamriel is threatened by a mysterious floating city, Umbriel, whose shadow spawns a terrifying undead army.
Reeling from a devastating discovery, Prince Attrebus continues on his seemingly doomed quest to obtain a magic sword that holds the key to destroying the deadly invaders. Meanwhile, in the Imperial City, the spy Colin finds evidence of betrayal at the heart of the empire—if his own heart doesn’t betray him first. And Annaïg, trapped in Umbriel itself, has become a slave to its dark lord and his insatiable hunger for souls.
How can these three unlikely heroes save Tamriel when they cannot even save themselves?
I could almost make a copy & paste of my previous review of The Infernal City, but that wouldn’t be fair. This second book is slighty better. Even though it lacks the same things as the first part; I was prepared for it, so the disappointment has been cut down.
It is supposed to continue the story from when we left it in the Infernal City, but it’s obvious there has been some development between the two of them that is not told by the author. It also presents a new plot line starred by Imperial soldiers facing Umbriel and Colin gets much more pages than in the first book. Sadly, Attrebus’ and Sul’s part is reduced… which hasn’t made me happy at all. The prince is still the most interesting character of the books.
The action gets better, but not much. The description of those parts is lazy and lacking interest everywhere. In this genre, if the action is bad, it’s very hard to engage the reader. The plot with the Imperial soldiers is supposed to be the one with more action, due to the army of zombies that they are facing. But still… It’s barely there… It ends as soon as it starts. I would remove those characters from the book. I could barely stand to read their chapters.
Annaïg and her cooking lessons is the other part that is overused. One more chapter about the daily menu and I would have thrown the book through the window… It’s a bit too much. The first time it was kind of cool to read about Umbriel’s high cuisine, but after that… I couldn’t stop screaming: Get to the good part!! In my humble opinion, the good part starts in the second part of the book, when Annaïg’s plan really begins.
What about the end? I must say the end is balanced with the rest of this saga: lazy and lacking feelings. There are some deaths that should bring tears to your eyes; but being honest, to feel those deaths you have to make a connection with the characters and it’s very unlikely that you could form one with the ones that Greg has created.
I know this sound like a very negative review, but the book is not boring at all. It’s just that the author has been unable to capture the richness of Tamriel. Too bad these are the only novels based on that Universe. I would love to keep reading books about the Elder Scrolls, but it looks like that bridge has been burnt.
I guess I’ll never know if Treb and Annaïg were happy after this. If you ask me, the Prince deserves waaaaaaay better. That breton lady is pretty scary…
Next: You’ve Got Fail by Celia Aaron