The Kingdoms of Dust Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2012
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
"This magnificent and multifaceted work, set against a richly detailed quasi-Arabian background, confirms Downum's Necromancer Chronicles as a top-notch fantasy series."―Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Necromancer Chronicles:
"Spectacular...[a] complex and bloody tale of sorcery, madness, and intrigue." --- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Downum's second fantasy is as sharp and complex as the first, full of fascinating characters." --- Booklist
"Well-written and entertaining." --- RT Book Reviews
About the Author
Amanda Downum was born in Virginia, and has since spent time in Indonesia, Micronesia, Missouri, and Arizona. In 1990 she was sucked into the gravity well of Texas, and has not yet escaped. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in English Literature, and has spent the last ten years working in a succession of libraries and bookstores; she is very fond of alphabetizing. She currently lives near Austin in a house with a spooky attic, which she shares with her long-suffering husband and fluctuating numbers of animals and half-finished novels. She spends her spare time making jewelry and falling off perfectly good rocks. To learn more about the author, visit www.amandadownum.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
She strays away from many fantasy cliches like romanticized vampires, overwrought romances, and long, boring dialogues. What she delivers is instead intense, dark, sometimes morbidly funny, and moving. Isyllt is a character who is female but doesn't fall into the usual traps of female characters, either becoming an object for men to rescue or an overly-violent robot. Instead of being a "damsel in distress" or, alternately, the trite "strong woman" archetype, she's simply a human being with interesting abilities, and a social pariah with a haunted past.
Grammatically speaking, this is the best of all three; you can see her growing as a writer throughout the series. I thought that the plot wasn't as exciting as The Bone Palace, but she revisits and revitalizes old characters satisfyingly. She also fleshes out Isyllt even more; she's a fascinating character with a lot of depth and layers.
I didn't give it five stars because I was somewhat dissatisfied with the atmosphere of this book. The sweltering sun and sand is described a lot, and the action sequences take place in varied settings, but I didn't get a "feel for" the people of this place, which is what I relished in The Bone Palace. In that volume, smells and sights, settings, different races and social classes were all explored. In this, it felt a bit one note- but then again, it did take place in a desert.
Moth also isn't fleshed out as much, but it might be that the character is just exhausted. I was also disappointed that we didn't learn much more about Kiril or Isyllt's personal past, although both are alluded to. I am hoping this is a sign that another volume (or three!) is forthcoming, and I'm pretty excited. I didn't expect it to, but Necromancer Chronicles has really sucked me in.
Ms. Downum, whose writing style has improved each time out, weaves a silky smooth tale with well-drawn out human and supernatural characters (djinns and such), and she tosses in a cameo by a rather urbane manticore. But Ms. Downum doesn't over-write. Her elegant descriptive passages don't get in the way of the action while they give you a real feel for Isyllt's surroundings. Then, too, the author knows that when it's time for the finale, it's time to step out the way and let the action cascade to a conclusion.
As usual in these tales, Isyllt must dodge assassins (and that manticore) to get the job done. And while you know she will (this is a series after all), it doesn't come easy.
It's a suspenseful thrill, and at the end Isyllt is preparing for her next adventure, which will, I hope, appear sooner rather than later.
Now, there is enough context to help out those of us who read the others a while back but don't necessarily recall all the details. That's a tricky line to write, and I appreciate it.
All the characters here were well-realized, I thought. The plot was complex, but strong. I have some reservations about the magic system(s) here; the overlaps and differences seems somewhat arbitrary and random to me. Plausible? yes (as these things can be). Solid? Maybe not- especially right at the end. On the whole it worked well, but I'm fuzzier on the details than I would have preferred.
Still- this was a good finish to a very intriguing set of novels, with interesting and different magical systems working in them.