Lies make the sweetest poison.

When Haplo began his journey his course was clear, victory all but a formality. Now he hurries back to warn his people of the evil he has discovered, only to find the enemy waiting for him. They serve Lord Xar now, as they once served Haplo. Confident in his power, Xar dismisses Haplo’s concerns, and sends him back to Arianus with Bane.

The story quickly grows into a vast game of lies, with dragon-snakes surreptitiously offering their support to each player. Regrettably, the story chooses to follow each character simultaneously, revealing treacherous plans as they are hatched, instead of springing them on the audience in the midst of a conflict.

The primary conflict is frustratingly slow, though the story compensates admirably with subplots, using vivid details and complex relationships to build strong emotional tension, which is both satisfying and engaging, though very short lived. Each character struggles with their own role in the story, before ultimately claiming their choice in time to join the final conflict. The ending is satisfying, if incomplete, with minor setbacks designed to pull audiences on to the next volume.

+Strong Characters
+Strong Ideas
+Strong Descriptions
-Weak plot
-Slow

3/5

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