Glen Cook, Lord of the Silent Kingdom Reviews

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“Lord of the Silent Kingdom ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 17/12/2006

Lord of the Silent Kingdom
Glen Cook
Tor, Feb 2007, $27.95
ISBN 0765306859

As a Praman Captain guarding the Wells of Ihrain, the source of all magic, Else Tage killed a Tyranny of the Night because he was unaware that a human cannot kill any of the immortal Instrumentalities; no man can slay a God yet he did (see TYRANNY OF THE NIGHT). His Praman leaders send him to the West to prevent Grail Empire Patriarch Sublime V from starting a crusade to try to control the Wells at the same time in the Realm of the Gods, the immortals are shaken by Else's blasphemy and plan to kill him.

However, Emperor Sublime V names the Praman hero Captain-General Piper Hecht and assigns him to prevent the Tyranny of the Night from methodically freezing the lands as well as battling with the Patriarchs, who want to end emperor rule. He finds an ally and lover in financier Anna Mozilla and learns that the great sorcerer Cloven "Ninth Unknown" Februaren thought dead actually lives and is prepared to support Piper, who the century-plus-old wizard believes is the only human hope.

In book two, the idealistic hero is a lot more knowledgeable about the ways of the world, but now knows what he cannot do and knowledge leads to doubts and hesitation. Though Anna is a fully developed person who intelligently supports the Patriarch and advises Piper, she also symbolizes his maturing. The conflict between the Grail Empire and the Praman is reminiscent of the medieval era when the Western Crusaders felt God was on their side as they tried regaining the Holy Land from the infidels. Thus the tense plot contains warring religions and squabbling leaders at a moment when humans need to come together to fight against the Tyranny of the Night. Though newcomers must read the previous novel first as Glen Cook provides no background to the previous tale, this is an excellent, anti-war, epic fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

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