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Eye of the Labyrinth by Jennifer Fallon

Eye of the Labyrinth (2003)

by Jennifer Fallon

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370543,924 (3.99)10



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The second book of the Second Sons trilogy opens two years after the first book ended. Without giving away too many spoilers for the first book : Dirk is in hiding, Alenor is back on Dhevyn with her mother, Queen Rainan, and Kirsh has fulfilled his long-held dream of joining the Royal Guards.

Antonov, the Lion of Senet, is a fanatic believer in Belagren's Shadowdancer cult, and is convinced that the way to bring the Kingdom of Dhevyn to believe, too, is with Dirk at his side. To this end, his next move is to try and drive Dirk out of hiding by commiting attrocities he cannot ignore.

In response, Dirk decides to travel to the ruined ancient city of Omaxin to learn the secrets that have been eluding Belagren, self-proclaimed High Priestess of the Shadowdancers, and use what he learns there to play the most dangerous game of his life and save the world.

Neris stared at Dirk for a moment and then shrugged. "I don't think you can kill an idea, Dirk. You can change it, maybe, but I don't think you can actually kill it."

"And while we believe that, Belagren will keep on getting away with what she does," Dirk pointed out.

"And that's why Johan failed. He was fighting an idea as much as he was a battle. Even if he'd had the strength to defeat Antonov, he still had Belagren and her religion to contend with. I tried to point that out to him, of course, but people tend not to take you very seriously when you're foaming at the mouth."
"Why didn't you figure out how to do it?" Dirk asked him, a little peeved by Neris' patronising tone.

The madman shrugged. "Not my area of expertise, I'm afraid. Ask me how much the world weights and I'll figure it out for you, Dirk, but to destroy a whole religion ... that takes a special sort of skill that I don't have. It takes political cunning, not mathematical ability. And nerves of solid steel," he added with a grin.

Although Dirk is the main character, we also get to see what is happening in other parts of the world through other characters. There are enough points of view, politics, action and intrigue to keep you engaged and wanting to find out what happens next; not to mention the feeling that you almost know what is happening or how it's going to work out, but it's just out of your grasp or there's another twist. I like the different characters, even if some of them seem to be living under the sword of Damocles. This is as solidly written as [The Lion of Senet], and I'm looking forward to the resolution in the last book.

4 stars ( )
  humouress | Oct 25, 2015 |
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
The second book in the Second Sons trilogy keeps up with the quality Fallon delivered in "The Lion of Senet".

Dirk Provin is the son of a Dhevynian duchess and Johan Thorn, the King of Dhevyn who was labeled a heretic by Belagran and exiled by Antonov, the Lion of Senet. Dirk may also be the only person on Ranadon with enough mathematical and scientific brilliance to follow the work of Neris Veran and discover when the next Age of Shadows will occur. He becomes the focus of a struggle between Tia Veran, who wants to recruit him to the dying cause of Dhevynian independence; Belagran, who hopes to use him to maintain her power as High priestess; and Antonov, who wants him to complete the victory of the Shadow Dancer cult in Dhevyn.
After fleeing Antonov's court at the end of the first book, Dirk, an expert tactician wants to free Dhevyn from the Lion's rule and destroy Antanov - but first he must set in motion a scheme to bring him close to the Lion's throne. This will leave him with dangerous enemies in every camp, but may change the world of Ranadon for millennia to come.

Dirk is a terrific character, and the supporting cast are also fascinating and engaging. The political background is well thought out and believable.
After reading Fallon’s previous work, I knew I would not be able to wait for the third volume in this trilogy to come out. So I deliberately put it aside until I had all 3 volumes. The final instalment is sitting on my shelf to start as soon as this review is written … ( )
  Jawin | Oct 31, 2009 |
A good, solid continuation of the story started in Lion of Senet.

The bad guys are still bad beyond all compare, totally without redeeming features. The good guys continue to be flawed, and in the case of the main character, excessively flawed - he'd be a villain in most other books.

The thing that makes this interesting is that although the story contains few real surprises to the reader, it is believable that Dirk is playing a really deep game that those around him don't really understand, and despite the fact he's manipulative, cold and driven I still find myself understanding his position and largely sympathising with it - not least because at various points he realises how much he is hurting people inadvertently and feels remorse for those he has treated worst who don't deserve it.

If you want to examine good character-driven writing, you could do far worse than analyse these books, where there are a lot of well-drawn, interesting characters handled deftly and sympathetically, and each seemingly advancing their own agenda in a plausible way. ( )
  lewispike | Nov 9, 2008 |
Another excellent read. This is not a series about magic and dragons. It is about politics and power and belief. Looking forward to the final volume. ( )
  infjsarah | Jun 25, 2008 |
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There was a door to which I found no key:
There was a veil pas which I could not see:

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
(translation by Edward J. Fitzgerald, 1859)
For Amanda, and as always, Adele Robinson
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The worst thing about funerals was the simes, Morna Provin thought.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553586696, Mass Market Paperback)

Since the Age of Shadows ended, the people of Ranadon have lived under the merciless heat of two suns and the tyranny of Antonov, the Lion of Senet. Consumed by his lust for power and his unshakable belief in the capricious, almighty Goddess, Antonov’s rule is absolute. Only one man has the intelligence and will to break that hold…a man who could be King.

Suddenly widowed, Morna Provin, Duchess of Elcast, has lost her only protector. With her son banished for an unspeakable crime, she faces a horrifying fate at the hands of the Lion of Senet as retribution for her relationship with the heretic Johan Thorn. But it is only part of a cunning scheme to lure her son, Dirk Provin, back into the fold so Antonov can consolidate his power once and for all.

With his mother’s life at stake, Dirk Provin must emerge from hiding in the Baenlands and return to Elcast—setting in motion a rebellion that will expose long-buried secrets and ignite festering hatreds. For a ruler’s fears and a madman’s prophecy will start Dirk on a quest for truth that will spark a fierce battle between two very different men: one who believes only what his five senses tell him, the other obsessed by his faith in the divine. It is a clash that will bring to light a revelation that may shatter them all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:14 -0400)

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Fantasy. Aust'n author. Follows, The lion of Senet.

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