As both reviews of the previous books in this series show, I am a big fan of the Cal Leandros books. I won't go over old ground here, needless to say both previous books are excellent and this novel continues this trend. This book starts off in a similar vein to the last one, whereby the brothers are on a job, albeit a relatively minor one. However after completing it they come across a number of bodies hanging in the tree's. This starts them off on the trail of Sawney Beane, a legendary Scottish serial killer from the 15th century. This part of the novel was problem my only gripe, since I live in Scotland and have never heard of him, but the way the novel portrayed him I felt like I should have known such an important part of Scottish history. But that is only a minor issue, not something that detracted from my enjoyment of the novel.
There is a lot of fleshing out of characters here. Cal is currently working in a pub for other wordly creatures called the ninth circle, for a peri called Ishiah. Ishiah has a past relationship with Robin Goodfellow, and slowly we learn more about Goodfellows past through Ishiah. A sub plot deals with a mistake from Goodfellows past catching up with him, and we get to see some of his darker side. Some hints are made to Promises past as well, but nothing too revealing. But you can't help but get the feeling that more is still to come in future novels. Some of Goodfellows attraction to Niko is hinted at too, as there are a number of similarities between Niko and Ishiah.
And Caliban begins to experiment with his ability to create portals. Mostly with bad results, but we begin to get a sense of the power he has access to. And also the danger of it. This is one of the things I like about Rob Thurmans novels, she consistently drives the characters forward, bit by bit, and we get to see them change from novel to novel. I also love the way she creates fantastic creatures, some of whom are based on popular mythological creatures, i.e. the Auphe and elves, and Abbagor the troll. This novel introduces us to the peri, another fantastic creation, who closely resemble Angels. However, as per Rob Thurmans usual, they are nothing like angels. Except in appearance. And of course Cal's trademark witty pessimism is back. There is also the return of a particular favourite of mine, Abbagor, and I suspect based on the encounter here and the ending of the novel he will be back again, perhaps as an ally? Although that is purely speculation on my part.
Sawney Beane makes a good villian, just the right mix of crazy, violent and unkillable to make you really hate him. After the slight cliffhanger ending of the previous novel some important decisions are made in Georgina and Cal's relationship. It was about time too, however the relationship probably went in a direction most readers weren't expecting. And speaking of cliffhanger endings, this was a huge cliffhanger. I won't spoil it, but you will find yourself needing to read the next book, straight after. And that is no bad thing. It is the start of something I had suspected was coming, but was taken aback by the novel ending on this note. But really all it did was get me so excited about the next novel.
I would thoroughly recommend this novel, along with all the others in the series. I count myself as a huge fan.
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