Author: Ian Irvine
Series: The View from the Mirror
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
In "Dark is the Moon", the third volume of Ian Irvine's "The View from the Mirror" quartet, the web of intrigue and magical betrayal that passes for politics in the world of Santhenar has reached a point of complexity where even its master players are feeling the strain. One of the few constants in Irvine's imagined world--the passionate erotic love between scholar/chronicler Llian and woman warrior Karan--starts to become unravelled when they are trapped with the evil mage Rulke in his semi-material place of exile, the Nightland; his seduction of the obsessional Llian with eye-witness testimony of the past is painful to watch. Nor is Rulke the cliché dark lord of much fantasy writing, he is a man who thinks what he does is justified by greater good, and not so different from many of his officially virtuous enemies. Irvine's evocation of landscapes tortured into strangeness by aeons of magical intervention and cities wrecked by civil strife is crisply visualised; his set pieces of action--a fight with pirates, a trek through desert, a magical duel--are involving and viscerally exciting; his characters are complex individuals who grow and change--the semi-villainous Magraith has become almost a secondary heroine. --"Roz Kaveney"