Stella en­gi­neer­ing

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Bri­die Ro­man

re­leased OUT NOW! 576 pages | Hard­back/ ebook

Au­thor Stella Gem­mell

Pub­lisher Ban­tam Press

Fol­low­ing on from the events of The City, The Im­mor­tal Throne con­tin­ues to track the fate of Stella Gem­mell’s enor­mous, un­named city- state. In the wake of the em­peror’s death and the de­struc­tion of the palace the City is vul­ner­a­ble – not least be­cause its rul­ing class, the Ser­afim, can­not stop their political in­fight­ing. Mean­while, a barbarian horde is march­ing on the weak­ened City.

Some fa­mil­iar char­ac­ters make a wel­come re­turn, such as the sweet Emly and her lover Broglanh. There’s plenty to like about the new char­ac­ters as well: Rubin, of­ten men­tioned in the pre­vi­ous book as In­daro’s long- lost brother, pro­vides wel­come

Packed with shock twists

back­story, while Stern and his band of brave sol­diers will give you a cause to root for. But it’s the City it­self that’s the main char­ac­ter. With its wind­ing streets, hid­den tun­nels and tow­er­ing walls, it feels un­ques­tion­ably real, de­spite its fan­tas­ti­cal el­e­ments. In truth, fewer point of view char­ac­ters and more ex­plo­ration would have been wel­come. As it is you may find your­self swap­ping be­tween peo­ple too of­ten, and feel­ing like your favourites are ne­glected.

Much like its pre­de­ces­sor, The Im­mor­tal Throne starts slowly, but the last hun­dred or so pages are so jam- packed with shock twists, rev­e­la­tions and ac­tion that you’ll be left breath­less. But you might also be left won­der­ing whether some of the se­crets re­vealed at the end could have been eked out through­out the book, rather than in a del­uge of an­swers dur­ing the last 50 pages. That said, the City and its denizens still more than de­serve the se­quel which the end­ing pro­vides plenty of room for.

Stella Gem­mell met her late hus­band David when both of them were work­ing as jour­nal­ists on the Hast­ings Ob­server.

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