Bantam, May 2004, 6.99, 513 pp.
The world of Ranadon revolves around two suns but when the Age of Shadows descends, only one of the orbs is visible in the sky. The planet undergoes severe climatic changes that destroy life. When a scientist discovers when the Age of Shadows will end, Belagren the High Priestess of the Shadowdancers uses that knowledge to convince Antonov the Lion of Senet that the Goddess spoke through her.
Warrior ruler Antonov wants to conquer the world through diplomacy or, if necessary, war. He imposes his worship of the Goddess on those lands he conquers.
Dhevyn is a Kingdom made up of many islands and Antonov wants the nation to be under his rule so he forces the queen to abdicate when her daughter turns sixteen. She will become monarch and her husband will be Antonov's favorite son Kirsh, puppet rulers with the Lion of Senet pulling the string. However, what he really wants is to find the rebel Dirk Provin, the true heir to the throne of Dhevyn, convert him to believe in the Goddess and place him on the throne. Dirk, an expert tactician, wants to free Dhevyn from the Lion's rule and destroy Antanov but first he must set in motion a scheme to bring him close to the Lion's throne.
Jennifer Fallon's second book in “The Second Son's Trilogy” is as good, if not better than it prequel, THE LION OF SENET because the characters are more complex in the years that have passed since the events of the prequel. Dirk is a true hero, willing to vilify his name to topple Antonov and his mistress Belagren.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner