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The Thousand Eyes: The Serpent Gates #2    by A. K. Larkwood order for
Thousand Eyes
by A. K. Larkwood
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Thousand Eyes follows The Unspoken Name as the second in A. K. Larkwood's Serpent Gates fantasy series. The first episode introduced Orc priestess Csorwe. Wizard Belthandros Sethennai helped her avoid being sacrificed to the Unspoken one and trained her as his personal assassin. Sethennai's other assistant, Talasseres, saw Csorwe as a rival.

On assignment, Csorwe met and fell hard for Adept Qanwa Shuthmili. She eventually chose Shuthmili over the wizard. As The Thousand Eyes opens two years after events in the first episode, Csorwe and Shuthmili, along with Tal, work together surveying the ruins of the Echentyr serpent empire (once ruled by snake goddess Iriskavaal, Lady of the Thousand Eyes, who later partly incarnated as Sethennai).

They are all delighted by the discovery of an intact hatchery complex. They awaken a serpent woman, Cherenthisse, who had slept for three thousand years, and take her back to their city with them. There's an attack and it seems Sethennai is being hunted. Priestess Oranna, who still follows the Unspoken, warns them of 'a god on the rampage' Events lead to them all questing together to a stronghold of Echentyr mages.

It's a fairly complicated, convoluted universe, filled with many different creatures, gods, and forms of magic. I strongly recommend reading the first book before this one, but it is worth the effort to follow these unusual characters into adventure.

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