by John Marco
The Devil's Armor
DAW, November, 2003.
Hardcover, 832 pages.
After the death of the mad King Akeela in a great battle, Lukien, the Bronze Knight of Liiria has become the defender and protector of Grimhold, the secret mountain fortress of the Inhumans who are made whole again by the spirits of the Akari. Lukien is brokenhearted by the death of his childhood friend, Akeela and the love of his life, Cassandra. Deep in the fortress of Grimhold lies the Devil's Armor, which can make anyone who wears it virtually invincible. The armor is inhabited by the powerful Kahldris, an Akari spirit, whose terrible exploits are legendary. When the lovelorn Baron Glass (whose affections are not returned by Meriel, an Inhuman he met at Grimhold) succumbs to the lure of Kahldris's promise that the armor can restore his lost arm, many people's lives are about to change.
The Devil's Armor is the sequel to the critically acclaimed epic fantasy novel, The Eyes of God. John Marco skillfully expands the scope of the story to include many new and memorable characters, such as Jazana Carr, the beautiful and driven Diamond Queen who has conquered half the known world out of revenge for being deserted by her lover, Baron Glass; King Lorn the Wicked, the deposed ruler of Norvor and now single parent of a deaf infant; the youthful club-footed librarian Gilwyn Toms, who now rules a nation as regent; and the fanatical Prince Aztar who murders any nonbelievers who attempt to cross the Desert of Tears, the punishing boundary that Seekers must pass to find the fortress of Grimhold. John Marco brings all of these and other characters to life with his vibrant and exciting prose. Marco explores the themes of unrequited love, obsession, revenge, cruelty, redemption and war against the backdrop of exotic lands. He deftly handles the multiple storylines which neatly tie up at the end. Luckily for his readers, the ending sets the stage for more adventures in this fascinating world he has created. If you haven't yet discovered John Marco, you've got a treat in store for you.
--Claire E. White
The Devil's Armor is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the November-December, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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