Thursday, May 29, 2008

When True Night Falls - by Celia Friedman

When True Night FallsWhen True Night Falls is the second volume in Celia Friedman's Coldfire series and the sequel to Black Sun Rising. After reading Black Sun Rising I couldn't wait to dive into this one so here's a brief outline of the plot…
With the evil in the rakhlands defeated reverand Damien Kilcannon Vryce and the immortal sorceror Gerald Tarrant along with Hesseth the Khrast guide are heading East in search of the source of the land's malaise. Something malevolent lies there, possibly Fae-born but maybe not, warping the very nature of Erna's native creatures and determined to bring down humanity.

Their answers may lie on the Eastern Continent, long-separated from the Western settlers and with which little contact has been made for a very long time. What they find there seems to be a land in harmony with itself; a prosperous and stable place without the need for sorcerors or magic to protect them for the Fae do not enter their cities or villages. The truth however is a very different picture and our three adventurers soon find themselves fleeing from their long-lost cousins and lost in a land full of deception and treachery.

I'd imagine that it's difficult to design a storyline that encompasses three books with all three being equally entertaining in their own right. That may be the burden of anyone writing a trilogy of any kind but Ms. Friedman has successfully, so far at least, managed to do that. Black Sun Rising was a cracking read and When True Night Falls has picked up the storyline and moved it to the next level pretty well.

This time we get both the hero character of Vryce and the anti-hero character of Tarrant teaming up again, along with their Khrast guide Hessesth from the rakhlands and heading overseas in search of whatever evil is infecting their world. It's all good stuff and you know that while Vryce is incorruptable, Tarrant always has his own agenda and you never know if he's going to side with the team or turn on them. The whole idea of having a man like Gerald Tarrant, an undead vampire and sorceror, as part of the good guy's team works really well and gives it a different edge.

As you'd expect, there are new characters introduced into the mix and all in a new land where magic is forbidden and anyone possessing the power runs the risk of being arrested and used as demon bait, a career that has a very short lifespan. Behind all of this is a web of deceipt, controlling the population, hating every one of them and with the ultimate aim of cleansing their world of humanity.

When True Night Falls is another excellent story from Celia Friedman and well recommended. The next and final installment in the trilogy is Crown Of Shadows, which is lying on my bookshelf and in the reading queue.

Genre:Adventure, Fantasy, Science-Fiction
ISBN: 1-84149-542-5
My Rating: 8/10

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