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The Twisted Citadel (Darkglass Mountain Series #2)
     

The Twisted Citadel (Darkglass Mountain Series #2)

4.5 30
by Sara Douglass
 

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Tencendor is no more. The land is gone. But a few SunSoars remain, and a new foe walks the world.

In a time of magic and danger, three new heroes have stepped forward—Ishbel Brunelle, priestess of the Serpent Coil; Isaiah, the Tyrant of Isembaard; and Maximilian, the Lord of Elcho Falling. Yet despite their best efforts, the Dark God Kanubai has risen. And

Overview

Tencendor is no more. The land is gone. But a few SunSoars remain, and a new foe walks the world.

In a time of magic and danger, three new heroes have stepped forward—Ishbel Brunelle, priestess of the Serpent Coil; Isaiah, the Tyrant of Isembaard; and Maximilian, the Lord of Elcho Falling. Yet despite their best efforts, the Dark God Kanubai has risen. And worse yet, war approaches—backed by the evil, insidious DarkGlass Mountain, hordes of insatiable Skraelings ravage the land.

While the trio struggles to keep its armies and alliances alive, the SunSoars have their own challenges, including the chance to rejoin the magical Star Dance at long last, and the appearance of the Lealfast, long-lost kin to the Icarii. The Lealfast and the Icarii may be friends . . . or deadly enemies. And as tensions rise between the two races, Axis SunSoar revives his elite Strike Force in a desperate bid to stop the darkness.

Editorial Reviews

The Advocate
“...the ultimate for fans of Sara Douglass’ ...”
Publishers Weekly

A hefty and welcome glossary of characters connects this sophomoric second installment of the DarkGlass Mountain trilogy to its predecessor, 2007's The Serpent Bride. Maximilian, king of Escator, and his former queen, Ishbel, struggle to decide whether to repair or fully end their romance, while Isaiah, Maximilian's military leader, and Axis SunSoar, a heroic winged Icarii enchanter, debate how to combat the demonic god Kanubai, who has been absorbed into the DarkGlass Mountain and now poses an even greater threat. Those familiar with Douglass's earlier Axis Trilogy may savor the intricate interplay between humans, Icarii and their mysterious Lealfast cousins, and the Gollum-like Skraelings, but grisly scenes frequently disrupt the flow of the story, and Douglass's chatty abandonment of epic tone ("You are in a pickle, Maximilian") often snaps the necessary suspension of disbelief. Maximilian's weariness over endless wandering that gets him nowhere proves an apt metaphor for the story. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

The continent of Tencendor has fallen; new realms have taken its place. Only a few members of the SunSoar family remain, and new movers and shakers have risen to prominence as they try to hold their alliances fast against a new darkness arising from DarkGlass Mountain-the Dark God Kanubai transformed into something much more powerful. The author of the popular "Axis" and "Wayfarer Redemption" trilogies continues her epic saga of lands and populations in peril and of heroes who fight against the ever-strengthening evil in this sequel to The Serpent Bride. Douglass has established herself as one of the genre's ablest storytellers, able to create vast canvasses upon which her unforgettable characters leave their distinctive marks. Recommended for fantasy collections of any size but particularly where the author has a following.


—Jackie Cassada

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060882181
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/2009
Series:
Darkglass Mountain Series , #2
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
656
Sales rank:
497,127
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.50(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Twisted Citadel, The

Chapter One

The Sky Peaks Pass, and DarkGlass Mountain, Isembaard

Ishbel Brunelle Persimius sank to her knees in the snow, watching Maximilian Persimius, the Lord of Elcho Falling, walk away from her into the night.

I'm so sorry, he said to her, over his shoulder. So sorry.

He vanished into the darkness, Ravenna at his side.

Very slowly Ishbel leaned over, her hands clutching into the snow, until her forehead touched the ground's icy surface. She stayed like that for four or five heartbeats, then her right fist beat once against the snow, then again, and she swore, very softly but very fiercely.

Ishbel straightened, sitting back on her heels, staring into the night.

She was furious. She had been kneeling in the snow, forehead to ground, for only a short space of time, but in that time she had journeyed from the absolute despair of Maximilian's rejection to a depth of rage that she'd never experienced previously.

Ishbel was not angry at Maximilian, nor even at Ravenna, but at herself. She could not believe that she, Archpriestess of the Coil, wife of the Lord of Elcho Falling, lover of the Tyrant of Isembaard, and a Persimius in her own right, had allowed herself to be outmaneuvered so easily. She could not believe that she, Ishbel, had allowed herself to be beaten into the snow, and so humiliated.

Even Maximilian's former lover, StarWeb, had not managed so easily what Ravenna had just accomplished with a few powerful words.

I carry his child, Ishbel. His heir. Maximilian Persimius will cleave to me now.

WhileIshbel's current anger was directed at herself rather than at Ravenna, Ravenna had managed to earn herself Ishbel's enduring enmity—not merely for what Ravenna had said and done, but for the satisfaction with which she had delivered her triumph.

Ravenna's time would come.

Ishbel rose and brushed snow from her skirt and face with irritated, staccato movements. "Am I such a naive girl to be rendered so easily the fool?" she muttered. "I cannot believe I allowed Ravenna such an easy victory!"

Fool no longer, she thought, as she strode in the opposite direction from that which Maximilian and Ravenna had taken.

Ravenna need expect no goodwill from me in the future, and no more easy victories.

As she walked, her back straight, a hard glint in her eyes, Ishbel whispered into the night. "Madarin! Madarin! Madarin!"

Madarin was the soldier Ishbel had healed of a twisted bowel on the way down from the FarReach Mountains to Aqhat when Axis was escorting her to be Isaiah's new wife. She had no reason to believe that Madarin was still with that half of the enormous army which Isaiah had now brought as far as the Sky Peaks Pass, but somehow she knew he was here.

"Madarin," she whispered, every inch the priestess intent on her purpose. "Come, I have need of you."

Ten minutes later, as Ishbel stood shrouded by a line of dozing horses at the edge of the huge camp, a man emerged out of the night.

Kanubai stood in the Infinity Chamber in the center of DarkGlass Mountain and exulted. Far to the north the Lord of Elcho Falling vacillated, weak and indecisive, while here Kanubai stood fully fleshed and powerful, and with an army of gray wraiths at his command.

Moreover, here Kanubai stood, fully fleshed from the flesh of the daughter of the Lord of Elcho Falling himself and that would ensure Kanubai's success.

There was nothing the Lord of Elcho Falling could do against him.

Kanubai smiled.

There were a dozen or so Skraelings within the chamber, all crouched in various postures of servility and awe before their lord. They were loathsome creatures, but they would do.

Kanubai stretched his arms out and roared, knowing that roar would reverberate in the ears of the Lord of Elcho Falling and terrify him.

As he did so, one of his hands glanced against the blackened ruins of the once-beautiful golden glass of the Infinity Chamber.

And as his hand glanced against the ruined glass, so DarkGlass Mountain took him. More to the point, it absorbed him.

The pyramid had been waiting a very long time for just this moment.

Ravenna glanced at Maximilian, walking by her side. His face was set into a rigid, featureless expression which Ravenna knew meant he hid deep emotion.

She slid her arm through his, pulling their bodies together as they walked toward the tent they shared with Venetia, Ravenna's mother.

"I know it hurts," she said, "but it was the right thing to do."

Maximilian did not reply.

"Ishbel isn't the right—"

"Leave it be, Ravenna, I beg you."

Ravenna fell silent, torn between wanting to make certain that Maximilian understood the tragedy that Ishbel could make of his life, and knowing that pushing the issue could just as easily alienate him from herself.

His steps slowed, and Ravenna felt his body tense.

She panicked. "Maxel, it is done now. You can't go back."

Maximilian finally stopped, forcing Ravenna to halt as well. "I shouldn't have turned my back on her like that. Ever since her childhood, Ishbel has dreamed that eventually the Lord of Elcho Falling would destroy her life, and now—"

"Maxel, she is the one who will destroy your life."

Maximilian sighed, the reaction Ravenna dreaded the most. "I was too harsh, Ravenna. Too cruel. Ishbel didn't deserve what I just said to her."

Ravenna grabbed at one of his hands, bringing it to her breast. "She is weak, Maxel. Through that weakness she will destroy you. Ishbel will midwife nothing but sorrow into this land."

Maximilian regarded her, then leaned forward and kissed her cheek. "I know you mean only goodness, Ravenna, but I need to speak with Ishbel. I should not have walked away from her in that manner and I need to make sure she is all right."

"She will seduce you!"

He laughed, genuinely amused. "Not even Ishbel would think of that in this great chill! I treated her most badly, Ravenna. Let me go, I pray you, so that I may speak a little more gently to her. I will not linger, and I promise to you that I shall not allow myself to be seduced."

Twisted Citadel, The. Copyright © by Sara Douglass. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Sara Douglass was born in Adelaide but moved to Hobart in later life to write full-time. Three of her books won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy and many were shortlisted. She published nineteen books of epic and historical fantasy before her death in 2011.

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Twisted Citadel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
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Amber Mills More than 1 year ago
Even better than the first book! The world is so real its unsettling at times ! Loved it!!!
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B_Richards More than 1 year ago
The Twisted Citadel is a great continuation and evolution of the Axis stories. I love how the worlds remain interrelated and to see the different stories and perspectives weave together. I am always pleasantly surprised when I find that Sara Douglass has written another epic tale that brings in new faces and shows different sides to her old characters. I'm sitting at the edge of my seat waiting for the next book!
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