The sequel to Alex Marshall's A Crown for Cold Silver, an outstanding, game-changing epic adventure featuring an unforgettable warrior.
After five hundred years, the Sunken Kingdom has returned, and brought with it a monstrous secret that threatens to destroy every country on the Star.
As an inhuman army gathers on its shores, poised to invade the Immaculate Isles, the members of the Cobalt Company face an ugly choice: abandon their dreams of glory and vengeance to combat a menace from another realm, or pursue their ambitions and hope the Star is still there when the smoke clears.
Five villains. One legendary general. A battle for survival.
About the Author
Alex Marshall is a pseudonym for Jesse Bullington, acclaimed author of several novels in different genres including The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart and The Enterprise of Death. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
STAND-OFF - Much of the book can be summed up by “stand-off”. It is a stand-off between the Cobalt Company and the Crimson Empire’s Ninth Regiment which has them surrounded, and a stand-off between the current leader of the Cobalt Company, Ji-hyeon, and the former leader, Zosia, who are fighting each other whenever they aren’t fighting something else. Meanwhile, Maroto, one of Zosia’s original villains, regains consciousness from the trip through the gate the villain Hoartrap inexplicably sent him through only to find himself on Jex Toth, until recently the Sunken Kingdom. He spends most of his time fleeing from or fighting one nightmare after another and is saved by Captain Bang, a former close friend of Zosia’s until the former stole the latter’s ship. Ironically Maroto’s nephew, Sullen, Maroto’s team of Purna and Diggelby and Ji-hyeon’s lover, Keun-Ju, are trying to find Maroto whom they assume is a deserter or a traitor. In turn, Sullen’s Mother and a holy man are tracking Sullen to kill him for abandoning his clan and are joined by a sorceress seeking revenge on Hoartrap. The love interests are just as convoluted. Maroto’s obsession with Zosia has been replaced by his interest in her guardian, Choi, but he now finds himself attracted to Bang. Sullen and Keun-ju had been rivals for Ji-hyeon’s affection and now find themselves also attracted to each other. There is an interesting world view on gender as it appears that one’s spirit determines gender and not physical attributes. The second book of this trilogy ends with the fates of Ji-hyeon, Zosia, the Cobalt Company, Maroto and every country on the Star very much in doubt.
The Crimson Empire series is so good: kind of an evolution of “grimdark” fantasy that adds back in a ton of color, humor, outlandish monsters, and even more outlandish characters. It’s a little like a series of heavy metal album covers and anime credit sequences stitched together with some unholy technique into a coherent world, and then populated with the perfect blend of barbarians, retired villains, fops, and heretics. This second volume improves on the first, basically tightening down the screws until the characters and world are under such pressure that there’s no way everything won’t explode in the last volume in a glorious and horrifying way. And it still manages to have a satisfying ending on its own, a nice trick for a trilogy middler.