Okay, never mind. Let’s talk about Raven’s Ladder, the third book in the Auralia Thread series by Jeffrey Overstreet.
When we left our heroes at the conclusion of Cyndere’s Midnight (reference my review here), King Cal-raven had just repelled an attack by the beastmen of Cent Regus, engineered by the treacherous Seers of Bel Amica. Now, as the king and his refugee subjects from the shattered house of Abascar shore up their defenses in the cliffs and caverns of Barnashum, Cal-raven encounters the legendary Keeper of the Expanse, who inspires him to seek a new home for his people, far to the north, where they’ll be safe from the predations of Seers and beastmen alike.
Meanwhile, Princess Cyndere of Bel Amica, Jordam the beastman, and Rescue the ale boy have followed the Keeper’s trail deep into Cent Regus, hoping they will find a way to heal the beastmen and free the multitude of slaves imprisoned there.
Time is short–the evil which twisted the inhabitants of Cent Regus into monsters has been growing unseen beneath the land for years and is beginning to reach upward through the soil, stripping the Expanse of life and poisoning the land. Even worse, the people of Abascar doubt Cal-raven’s vision, wondering if their young king has abandoned reality for fairy tales and is leading them to disaster. The riches and wonders of Bel Amica beckon, offering rewards much more immediate and tangible than Cal-raven’s audacious dreams–but they might be just another, more horrifying, kind of slavery.
Where Auralia’s Colors spoke of the promise of enlightenment, and Cyndere’s Midnight told a tale of new hope born from the depths of despair, Raven’s Ladder reveals both the power and the fragility of vision. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow in my review of Raven’s Ladder, but in the meantime, check out the other fine stops on this month’s bonus CSFF Blog Tour. They’re like a double helping of double-chocolate cake, without the double-digit weight gain.
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Rachel Starr Thomson