A year or so ago, between reading the latest Steven Erikson and Glen Cook installments, I found a little gem called In the Eye of Heaven by David Keck. In his first novel, Keck presents a vividly imagined medieval world filled with the typical knights and tournaments you would expect in addition to a pantheon of powerful entities and mystical creatures. Conflict and political infighting surround the exploits of Durand Col, the second son of a middling duke, trying to find a place for himself in this tumultuous world. Needless to say I devoured the first book and have been keenly interested in getting to the sequel.
Fortunately for me, that time coincided with a semi-vacation last week in Lake Tahoe so I was able to spend some hearty pool-side time devouring In a Time of Treason. This sequel is even better than its precursor, presenting a darker yet more grittily realistic and realized conflict following the treacherous actions of the king, who takes hostages from each of his baronies in an attempt to hold his own subjects at bay.
Durand Col is again thrust front-and-center in his role supporting Lamoric, the second-son of the Baron of Gireth. Through a series of supernaturally-aided actions, Durand, Lamoric and the rest of their crew are pulled into the conflict between Gireth and the invading neighbors from Yrlac. lead by the murderous Radomor who is making a play for the kingdom. Durand's ability to push himself further after having been strained to the limit remind me of the John McLane character in the Die Hard movies. He simply won't be stopped, even after taking a vicious morning-star to the head from a traitorous "friend"!
The quick pace and tight plotting make this a thrilling and enjoyable read. And since the characters, setting and events that unfold are believable, the whole thing holds together quite well. If you like the work of Erikson, Guy Gavriel Kay or George R.R. Martin, I think you'll find this one enjoyable. I can't wait to see how it all ends in A King of Cobwebs...
My Rating: Thumbs Up!
Cheers! - Jason