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In this vivid but inflated second installment of Fallon's Tide Lords fantasy-romance series (after 2008's The Immortal Prince), new characters and increasingly ghoulish torments propel a thin narrative centered on doughty heroine Arkady Desean, nominal wife of Stellan, the Kingdom of Glaeba's heir. Arkady is bent on destroying the immortal and frequently petulant Tide Lords, who want to take over the world. Declan Hawkes, Glaeba's spymaster and Arkady's longtime admirer, engineers one anti-Tide Lord plot after another, while powerful Tide Lord Cayal romances Arkady and contemplates suicide. More appealing are the human-beast servants called Crasii, some of whom secretly defy their Tide Lord creators. With abrupt cuts between intricate story lines and excursions into harem intrigue, Fallon strives to maintain momentum, but slogging through her interminable backstories often feels like battling a tidal wave of verbiage. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.