Chaos Queen - Dark Immolation (Chaos Queen 2) by Christopher B Husberg
Warning - spoilers ahead for Book 1 which should be read first: Winter is presumed dead by Knot, Jane, Astrid and Cinzia. To be honest, rotting in the dungeon of Lord Daval she may as well be. Daval himself hasn't been the same since he was possessed by the Lord of Fear and leader of the Nine Daemons. He sees it as a positive but there's a high price to be paid in blood for everyone else. Our remaining adventurers return to Jane and Cinzia's home as they continue their search for truth. Cinzia may still be a Priestess of Canta but Jane's heretical ideas are making more and more sense to her. Meanwhile Knot is having severe problems with his multi-occupancy body but there are worse problems on the horizon. The Nine Daemons are out and doing what Daemons do best: dragging a world's population towards a particularly evil form of destruction.
|Chaos Queen - Dark Immolation (Chaos Queen 2) by Christopher B Husberg
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson
|Summary: A new voice in epic fantasy becomes even more compelling as his debut quintent. He continues to lure us deeper into a world seeking or hiding the truth and destroying to protect their version of it.
|Date: June 2017
|Publisher: Titan Books
|External links: Author's website
American author Christopher B Husberg is back with the second of his Chaos Queen quintet in which the results of hell being let loose are becoming more apparent. It's a traditional epic fantasy in that we have a collection of people on quests that unite and separate them. Yet in another way this series is unusual: every character is strong and memorable, transfixing us with their presence.
This time out we learn more about ancient child vampire Astrid as she provides us with some sassy giggles before facing her darkest nightmares. There's also a Knot-based affection that may be bubbling under which could be awkward as he's an item with the not-as-dead-as-he-thinks Winter.
Indeed, Winter is not only alive and kicking but a martyr to her addiction to frost – that crystalline substance providing special powers whilst leaving consumers craving more. This isn't the only iffy item in her future either! I shan't spoil it but shall we just say that her choices cause us one or two delayed nights' sleep as we wonder how it's going to play out?
Religion and prejudice (both connected to each other and not connected at all) are often used as a bridge between fiction and real life, which is precisely what's happening here. Jane and Cinzia have turned their back on their faith in organised religion and soon find they aren't the only ones affected by their decision. New responsibilities arise which also create new dangers.
Knot is invaluable to the sisters for his brawn and battle experience but he's also battling within himself… actually with his many selves.
Daval? Daval is a truly wonderful baddie with a satisfying touch of the pantomime about him. Every now and again we see a glint of humanity but any altruism has been abandoned, unless it means the assured future of his daughter. Even then we realise the glowing, proud father has a certain amount of self – and Daemon – interest in his plans.
All added together (and including a surprise or two from the Void) this is an all-enveloping read that demonstrates why epic fantasy was created. While the new world absorbs us effortlessly, the real world comparisons provide a jolt while not spoiling it for those of us who just want a good story. At the end we're set up beautifully to anticipate Book 3 Blood Requiem. The only downside is the year's wait till June 2018 for its arrival!
(Thank you, Titan Books for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: I'm assuming you've already finished Book 1: Chaos Queen – Duskfall. If you have and you're looking for another series to fall in love with, we also heartily urge you towards The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy 1) by Jen Williams and/or Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy) by Brian McClellan.
You can read more book reviews or buy Chaos Queen - Dark Immolation (Chaos Queen 2) by Christopher B Husberg at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Chaos Queen - Dark Immolation (Chaos Queen 2) by Christopher B Husberg at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.