Unlikely allies Damien and Tarrant are faced with an enemy who may prove invulnerable-a demon who has declared war on mankind. Called Calesta, he is a master of illusion and devourer of pain, and he plans to remake the human species until it exists only to sate his unquenchable thirst for suffering. The war against Calesta will take Damien and Tarrant from the depths of Hell to the birthplace of demons and beyond-in a battle that could cost them not only their lives, but the very soul of mankind.
This closing volume of Friedman's Coldfire trilogy (When True Night Falls; Black Sun Rising) ably concludes one of the better fantasy series in recent memory. Even readers unfamiliar with the earlier volumes will quickly be enmeshed in the struggles of the Reverend Damien Vryce and The Hunter, Gerald Tarrant, to maintain the order of the planet Erna against the forces of the demon Calesta. The battle is made more complicated in this volume by the development of an allegiance between Calesta and Andrys Tarrant, a descendant of Gerald's who vows vengeance on his ancestor. Andrys is a bit too inept to ever seem threatening, however, and a bit too lacking in joie de vivre to come off as a classic Pretender/Fool. But the sections without Andrys, especially those focusing on The Hunter, are interesting enough, and as the final battles?involving The Church, The Hunter, the forces of Calesta and various people and factions whose alignments vary throughout the novel?are held around The Hunter's keep, readers will be enthralled. While Friedman introduces a science fictional raising-of-the-stakes gambit here that isn't entirely satisfying, her general mastery of her material should delight her fans.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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July 31, 1996
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