Del Rey, Jul 2003, 26.95, 480 pp.
The beloved monarchy counseled by a wise Directorate of Wizards kept the peace and enabled the Kingdom to flourish. However, the Pax Eutracia ends when the Sorceresses of the Coven return seeking victory at any cost. The Coven loses, but devastates the land. The king dies at the hands of his son, and his wife and most of the wizards are also dead. Eutracia reels from the destruction and lack of leadership to lead the recovery.
The Sorceresses compelled Prince Tristan to kill his sire. He feels guilt even as he hides with his sister, her infant, and the sole surviving wizard council member Wigg. Joining the trio is wizard Faegan, who just came home. They need to help the country recover, but new terrors have surfaced. The source of all the magic jewels has mysteriously been diminished leaving the wizards in mortal risk of death and creatures created from taboo magic are causing havoc.
Volume II of the Chronicles of Blood and Stone, THE GATES OF DAWN, is an exhilarating action-packed epic fantasy that takes readers into a different realm where magic works. Fans will value this novel because the prime charcaters seem very genuine. Tristan knows he must redeem himself, but knows not how. His sister has a baby to keep safe yet needs to help her brother on his quest. The wizards must use their magic to stop a vile opponent, but time and ebbing power loss leaves them in jeopardy, a new feeling for the immortal magicians. This powerful ensemble along with a bunch of nasties will leave the audience desiring a fast turn around for Volume III.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner