The smoothly paced, action-packed, and character-driven second installment in Cash’s The Battle for Darracia trilogy is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Zayden is on a vengeful hunt for his evil uncle Staf Nuen and has no intention to return to Darracia empty handed. Tulani is struggling to find a balance between her two different worlds, but things are becoming difficult. With Staf Nuen busy forming powerful alliances with nefarious new allies, keeping the fractured kingdom of Darracia together becomes Prince V’sair’s responsibility. Cash delivers an SF tale that features plenty of twists and turns as well as characters’ inner turmoil and hidden agendas. V’sair is a character to root for; he’s written not merely as a character to whom things happen to but rather as someone who’s keenly engaging in the world around him. And what a world it is: there’s treachery, conspiracies, crystal elements with magical powers, warriors with megapowers, and manipulation of people through race and class, and Cash does a fine job of making it all seem plausible while depicting his alien landscape in keenly evocative prose soaked with imagery that’s both vivid and authentic. The novel will appeal to not only hard SF fans, but also those who enjoy a literary blend of high fantasy and space opera.
Categories: Science Fiction