The Girl on the Liar's Throne by Den Patrick
|The Girl on the Liar's Throne by Den Patrick|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: The final instalment of Den Patrick's fantasy trilogy brings us more excitement and some surprising disclosures as the Orfani learn about their pasts while trying to hold onto the kingdom's future.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: January 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
|ISBN: 978- 1473200043|
Lucien doesn’t want to declare war on Landfall and its Silent Queen, Anea, whom he grew up with as an Orfano. She runs a dictatorship of militant suppression and suffering which is rather unlike her. Unbeknown to Lucien, the throne of Landfall is occupied by Eris, an imposter and puppet used by those with far fewer scruples. Anea herself is imprisoned in the palace oubliette surrounded by Myrmidon, a half-human army created by Erebus. There's little chance of her escaping or getting very far if she did. However, for Anea 'little chance' is a challenge, not a preventative.
British fantasy author Den Patrick brings us the final volume in his Erebus Sequence trilogy, mixing an Italian Renaissance court feeling of evil and manipulation and corruption with a fantasy surrounding the fictional Orfani. Each of the three novels centre on one of the Orfani, Book 1 belonging to the ace, blood-teared, swordsman Lucien, Book 2 features the tortured Dino and now, Book 3 belongs to Anea, the Queen who doesn't speak, wearing the veil that masks her Orfani difference.
Den has also proven himself to be a master of the credible get out of jail free card which is really useful this time. That's what he literally needs to do to begin with, i.e. get Anea out of the oubliette in order to fight the powers behind the kingdom's impending doom. In fact this is part of the cleverness: Anea's predecessor, the king, was as much of a nutcase as those around the current pseudo-queen. This means Anea is just fighting for her crown and the present; there's some historical unfinished business just around the corner.
As well as a ripping good read, Den demonstrates the damage caused by fear, misplaced-repugnance and side-lining connected with being different from the crowd-asserted 'norm' in various ways. However he doesn't preach but gently lays the message amongst the adventure making it a gradual realisation.
Another clever facet is that Anea's oubliette-induced amnesia, as well as being a French/English pun, is a great device for a well-judged catch up on previous events. (In this way the book may just about work as a stand-alone but it does really deserve to be read in order after the first two.) The sadness for Anea in the recapping is that she mourns Dino's death a second time.
We may be mourning Dino alongside Anea but the scene stealer Vermyre is still with us and as wonderfully sarcy as ever. The banter of Lucien's henchmen Delfino and Corvino also adds a bit of light relief in some dark, scary times. (Yes, monsters and gore both feature so not for the more delicate among us.) Oh and speaking of scene stealers, the opposing sides' secret weapons assassin Marchetti and the Herald have a surprise or two up their sleeves that will make the plot turn suddenly and satisfyingly. Personally I loved them both!
Where turns are concerned, we do spot one or two of the twists before the book's inhabitants but that's not a bad thing. In fact I would even hazard a guess that the delicious semi-disclosures are intentional as the result is greater tension and, in my case, lots of 'You don't want to do that!' shouting at the pages. More please Mr Patrick!
(Thank you so much to the good people at Gollancz for providing us with a copy for review.)
The Girl on the Liar's Throne by Den Patrick is in the Top Ten Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels 2016.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Girl on the Liar's Throne by Den Patrick at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Girl on the Liar's Throne by Den Patrick at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.