Title: The Thousand Eyes
Author: A. K. Larkwood
Series: The Serpents Gate #2
Release Date: 17/2/22
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 43
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free finished copy from Tor UK ,via Black Crow PR in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
From Goodreads: Two years ago, Csorwe and Shuthmili defied the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and stole his gauntlets. The gauntlets have made Shuthmili extraordinarily powerful, but they’re beginning to take a sinister toll on her. She and Csorwe travel to a distant world to discover how to use the gauntlets safely, but when an old enemy arrives on the scene, Shuthmili finds herself torn between clinging to her humanity and embracing eldritch power.
Meanwhile, Tal Charossa returns to Tlaanthothe to find that Sethennai has gone missing. As well as being a wizard of unimaginable power, Sethennai is Tal’s old boss and former lover, and Tal wants nothing to do with him. When a magical catastrophe befalls the city, Tal tries to run rather than face his past, but soon learns that something even worse may lurk in the future. Throughout the worlds of the Echo Maze, fragments of an undead goddess begin to awaken, and not all confrontations can be put off forever…
You can find my review of book 1 HERE
Finally got my hands on the continuations of The Unspoken Name! I have to admit I couldn’t fully remember the events of Book 1 other than I really enjoyed it and I really wanted to know what happened next on the adventures of Csorwe, Shuthmili and Tal. I really appreciated that we got a persons of note at the beginning of the book that gave us little reminders of who they are and what they accomplished in book 1.
This book picks up two years after the events of book 1 and we get little glimpses of what life has been like for Csorwe and Shuthmili, how there relationship has grown, we also get a picture of there domestic life when they are not out charting the unknown and abandoned. We also get to catch up with Tal how his relationships with his family have developed and how he has been coping emotional after the events of book 1. We still get the great sibling-esque banter between Csorwe and Tal which is just so fun. The humour and love between this group is awesome.
There are a lot of distinct time jumps within the first few sections of this book. It lends more to the worldbuilding, giving us background without feeling info dumpy. This book is also split into 4 sections that do almost read independently of each other, like book one did, but I do find they tell a more cohesive story overall especially the last sections. We really get to explore the romance story arc this time, instead of a slow burn flowering romance we get to see deep love which just continues to grow. Its just a beautiful and deeply emotional relationship that is so nice to watch unfold on the page. It is also as full of action as you expect. The action scenes are really well paces and the slide between peaceful information gathering, high tension decisions, political machinations and then high action combat are just perfectly timed to keep you wanting to read on.
Again the world building is just immense and detailed, I still haven’t fully worked out exactly the travel system works it is part fantasy, part sci-fi, I am not sure if we are traveling to different worlds or just different areas of the same world. I feel there is so much we just haven’t had explained to us. It then leaves me just a little dissapointed in the world building as I can see how vast and interesting it all is and how much history and lore has been created behind the scenes but we don’t get to explore it and it makes me sad. I wanted to spend more time in each place to really get a feel for it and not just the glances we get throughout the plot.
I really enjoyed this series, I think the non-human MC is just such an interesting concept. I love the passion and drive behind the sapphic romance and the building of friendships. I love the play with power both magical and political that goes on within the plot, thought I still want to know more about the world.