Queen of the Dark Things: A Novel

Queen of the Dark Things: A Novel

4.7 4
by C. Robert Cargill

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Screenwriter and noted film critic C. Robert Cargill continues the story begun in his acclaimed debut Dreams and Shadows in this bold and brilliantly crafted tale involving fairies and humans, magic and monsters—a vivid phantasmagoria that combines the imaginative wonders of Neil Gaiman, the visual inventiveness of Guillermo Del Toro, and the shocking

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Screenwriter and noted film critic C. Robert Cargill continues the story begun in his acclaimed debut Dreams and Shadows in this bold and brilliantly crafted tale involving fairies and humans, magic and monsters—a vivid phantasmagoria that combines the imaginative wonders of Neil Gaiman, the visual inventiveness of Guillermo Del Toro, and the shocking miasma of William S. Burroughs.

 Six months have passed since the wizard Colby lost his best friend to an army of fairies from the Limestone Kingdom, a realm of mystery and darkness beyond our own. But in vanquishing these creatures and banning them from Austin, Colby sacrificed the anonymity that protected him. Now, word of his deeds has spread, and powerful enemies from the past—including one Colby considered a friend—have resurfaced to exact their revenge.

As darkness gathers around the city, Colby sifts through his memories desperate to find answers that might save him. With time running out, and few of his old allies and enemies willing to help, he is forced to turn for aid to forces even darker than those he once battled.

Following such masters as Lev Grossman, Erin Morgenstern, Richard Kadrey, and Kim Harrison, C. Robert Cargill takes us deeper into an extraordinary universe of darkness and wonder, despair and hope to reveal the magic and monsters around us . . . and inside us.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 02/10/2014
The powerful sequel to Dreams and Shadows returns readers to an alternate present where strange creatures walk among humans in Austin, Tex. Colby Stevens, a young man with an ancient gift, has lived a relatively solitary life since his previous adventures, suffering the consequences of his decisions and self-righteously guarding his chosen city. Then a young girl from his past makes her presence known in a way that threatens the existence of humanity. Marshaling what friends he has left, Colby must make a stand to save Austin, and his own soul. Brimming with philosophical conundrums and littered with myth and lore, Cargill’s world is abundant in detail and imagery in the service of the story. Not a page is wasted; secondary characters are used sparingly and well, and every word is carefully chosen for maximum effect. Colby’s journey through a world of demons and fears made real will keep readers entranced. Agent: Peter McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Sequel to Dreams and Shadows (2013), an urban fantasy following the career of young Austin, Texas, wizard Colby Stevens.As a young boy, Colby met Yashar the djinni and obtained the usual three wishes; Yashar didn't tell him that all the wishes he grants come to bad ends due to a curse. Colby asked Yashar to make him a wizard, and now he's the most powerful wizard in the world, though he earns a scolding from the beautiful Austin, embodiment of the city, for infringing on her prerogatives. Then comes bad news: A dark presence in Australia's Outback, calling herself the Queen of the Dark Things, has arisen and must be stopped. As we learn in extensive flashbacks, Colby spent time in the Outback learning wizardry from the Clever Man, so has reason to suspect the queen is Kaycee Looes, descendant of mutineers whose evil ghosts tricked her into doing their bidding. And, he discovers, this is all tied up with the Clever Man's plotting and a small legion of demons so forbidding that even Colby can't challenge them directly. So Colby must dicker with the five most powerful demons and somehow outwit them, with the price of failure too horrible to contemplate. Once again, the backdrop is exceptionally well-developed, even if early events bear little relation to the developments in Australia. Colby's exacting bargaining with the demons is by far the high point of a meandering plot that sometimes grips but otherwise tends toward complication as an end in itself.Highly impressive while not always fully engaging, though fans of the first book won't be disappointed.
“Cargill’s screenwriting chops bring to life a vivid mix of real and imaged folklore in his fantastical second novel. While the mix of urban fantasy, Guillermo Del Toro-like monsters and academic explanations of this magical world shouldn’t work, it absolutely does.”
“Richly imagined...an auspicious debut.”
“Dark, comedic, and unsettling, Dreams and Shadows is everything an urban fantasy sets out to be.”
Breitbart/ Big Hollywood
“Cargill proves with Dreams and Shadows that he’s not just a writer capable of creating and presenting dense mythology well
“As a result, Dreams and Shadows is a potent introduction to a world where the wondrous is rarely wonderful, the best intentions are guaranteed to roam farthest astray, and the reader is destined to keep turning the pages until the (somewhat) bitter end.”
“A thoroughly enchanting debut novel”
Library Journal
In this sequel to Dreams and Shadows, Cargill spins another contemporary literary fantasy of a wizard who has seen too much and acquired too much power. Colby Stevens is suffering from the consequences of his action, not just the events of the first book but also from his doings during his long childhood journey through fairylands. As Colby bargains with demons in the hopes of avoiding having to kill yet another old friend, we follow his journey to fairy, to the dreamtime, and to the point in his past where he set in motion the events that turned one of his childhood playmates into the Queen of the Dark Things. VERDICT As with the first book, Cargill takes his time setting up the events that lead to the climactic sequence that ends his story. Unlike the first book, this is a fantasy about mythmaking, learning the uses of power, and living with the consequences of one's behavior. Recommended for readers of Lev Grossman's "Magicians" series and Neil Gaiman's adult contemporary fantasies. [See Prepub Alert, 11/18/13.]—Marlene Harris, Seattle P.L.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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Queen of the Dark Things: A Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
bushnook More than 1 year ago
The second of this series and more flesh to the bone. Cargill's broken hero is finding out just what saving them all cost and has to decide if he may have to rethink if that cost is worth it. I hope that there is a book 3 and maybe 4 because I am liking what Cargill has scraped from the bottom of the soul for the last 2. Keep up the good work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You won't get it if you haven't read the other book by the author, but then again maybe you will..maybe you are the kind of person who thinks outside the box like that..either way you go,you can't lose. Both books are friggin awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As good as Gaiman.   Please keep them coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago