Darkwitch Rising: Book Three of The Troy Game
Tor, 2005 (2005)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
, the first two books of
The Troy Game
, in which larger than life characters act out power, passion and betrayal as they reincarnate through history. The first episode took place in early Albion, and the second after the Norman Conquest of Saxon England in 1066. The major players have differing inter-relationships through their lives, and gradually evolve in their attitudes towards each other.
ost of the action in
happens in the 1620s, the time of Charles II, whose father was beheaded by the Roundheads under Oliver Cromwell. The story occasionally moves forward to 1939 London, hinting at future roles and events. In 1629, Brutus and Coel have been reborn as prince (later king) Charles and his close friend Louis de Silva. The Minotaur Asterion comes back as Weyland Orr, and his abused sister Jane was once the glorious Genvissa. Now, she's a '
', brutalized by her
, and suffering harsh payments for past life sins. We discover Cornelia/Eaving as gentlewoman Noah Banks. She is resigned to the fact that previous errors require that she surrender herself to Asterion in this life - like Jane, Noah harbors inside her womb an imp under Weyland's control.
s this episode opens, creatures of Faerie are stirring, in particular Gog and Magog, once
and now legendary defenders of London. Weyland seeks Cornelia-reborn, in order to make her Mistress of the Labyrinth, win the kingship bands, and control the Game. Long Tom tells Noah that
old wounds must be healed in this lifetime by the reborn actors on this time-spanning stage, that the Stag God will rise, and that the Lord of Faerie - '
the land's first and last defense
' - will be crowned. Noah births a very unusual daughter, who has her own plans for the outcome (who is this Catling?), and Ariadne, whose cataclysmic revenge precipitated the
, plays a part once more, with disturbing news for Noah. Ironically, after lifetimes abusing Cornelia, Brutus loves her once more and is furious when she offers
The Troy Game
is an addictive epic fantasy soap opera, which I enjoy, despite the fact that the women leads' tendency to fall for their abusers makes me queasy.
turns the tale so far upside down, with a new enemy, surprising alliances, and insights into players and developments in the World War II time frame. It left me very curious about what comes next.
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