My second round with Mennik Thorn and I am thoroughly impressed.
By Patrick Samphire. Find out more about it here.
Only an idiot would ignore his debt to a high mage, and Mennik Thorn is not an idiot, no matter what anyone might say. He’s just been … distracted. But now he’s left it too late, and if he doesn’t obey the high mage’s commands within the day, his best friends’ lives will be forfeit. So it’s hardly the time to take on an impossible case: proving a woman who murdered a stranger in full view is innocent.
Unfortunately, Mennik can’t resist doing the right thing – and now he’s caught in a deadly rivalry between warring high mages, his witnesses are dying, and something ancient has turned its eyes upon him.
The fate of the city is once again in the hands of a second-rate mage. Mennik Thorn should have stayed in hiding.
Taff’s squee rating: 4 1/2 hearts!
What’s inside: The same as what we’ve found in book one! Check out my review here. On top of that, we’ve got Mennik really showing how he messes up – especially around his friends and I really appreciate how his actions have clear consequences.
Trigger warnings: More magical violence with plenty of gore. Tentacles. The setting has little mercy and children are not immune to harm.
After I put down Nectar for the God, my first thought was: Okay, I need the next one. For a bunch of reasons, too. One, I’m fond of Mennik. Two, I’m fascinated by Agatos (it’s people, it’s magic, it’s political intrigue). And three, I really need to see more Captain Gale (and find out how Mennik gets on with her in the next book).
Allow me to show you a little no context Gale:
“But it’s a god,” I said.
She smiled. “This isn’t the first god we’ve dealt with.”
Anyways! We pick up where we’ve left off in Shadow of a Dead God, and the consequences of Mennik’s actions from prior do not take long to catch up to him. And how does he meet them? Hm. I am going to say he meets a lot of them with inaction. Or at least with procrastination by means of taking on a job which has nothing to do with any of the pressing matters breathing down his neck. It’s that inaction, that avoidance, that helps us see how Mennik really is just a man who is beholden to his fears and his ego. And inaction has consequences, too, you see, and I’m always up for seeing the hero of a story realise with cold dread how they’ve just messed up and that they really have no one else but themselves to blame.
Overall, Shadow of a Dead God shows us more of who Mennik is and what drives him – and what he fears. I might go out on a limb here and say that this book may have had a theme of overcoming anxieties? Or at least face them? I don’t know, I am not very good at pointing out themes, I am mostly just here for the rides and what a ride this was.
What I am good at though (I think, maybe, potentially) is pointing out when a book is a lot of fun. And this one is a real lot of fun. The pacing continues to be tight, the mystery mysterious (but we got clues we can put together ourselves, meaning we get that wonderful AHA!! moment), and the humour has yet to miss for me.