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The Monstrous Citadel: Chronicles of Amicae #2    by Mirah Bolender order for
Monstrous Citadel
by Mirah Bolender
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2019 (2019)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Monstrous Citadel follows City of Broken Magic as the second in Mirah Bolender's action-packed Chronicles of Amicae. In this world, isolated cities have magical bomb squads (Sweepers) who fight off voracious infestations that eat magic, and anything else they encounter along the way. Magic items are also used extensively for heating, lighting and so on.

In the first episode, Laura trained as an apprentice under Amicae's only remaining Sweeper, Clae Sinclair. The two Sweepers worked closely with police but the city's Council was in denial about the increasing danger. Clae also took on Okane, an enslaved and abused Magus, as a second apprentice. Though this initially dismayed Laura, she grew close to Okane as they faced danger together time and again.

Laura and Okane were devastated by the loss of Clae in the first episode - but he's not quite dead. He's been transformed into magical crystal, and his subordinates spend a great deal of effort this time, trying to keep him safe. Though Laura was acting Head Sweeper of Amicae for a while, the city has now brought in Juliana MacDanel of Puer, accompanied by her Sweeper brother Lester.

Though charming at first, the MacDanels have their own agenda, one that proves damaging to both the city and its Sweepers. She sells their valuable equipment and the Clae crystal to the aggressive Rexians. Laura and Okane end up falsely accused and on the run cross country. Their quest takes them into Rex itself, and back to Amicae to confront Juliana - and a Rexian invasion.

This episode ends on the revelation of a new threat, setting the scene for more magical adventures for Laura, Okane and new allies found this time around. I look forward to more.

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