Sunday 13 February 2022

Book Review: The Thousand Eyes by A. K. Larkwood (Fantasy)

Title: The Thousand Eyes (The Serpent Gates #2)
Author: A. K. Larkwood
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: 15 February 2022
Pages: 400
Genre: Fantasy
ARC from Publisher

Two years ago, Csorwe and Shuthmili defied the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and stole his gauntlets. The gauntlets have made Shuthmili extraordinarily powerful, but they're beginning to take a sinister toll on her. She and Csorwe travel to a distant world to discover how to use the gauntlets safely, but when an old enemy arrives on the scene, Shuthmili finds herself torn between clinging to her humanity and embracing eldritch power.

Meanwhile, Tal Charossa returns to Tlaanthothe to find that Sethennai has gone missing. As well as being a wizard of unimaginable power, Sethennai is Tal's old boss and former lover, and Tal wants nothing to do with him. When a magical catastrophe befalls the city, Tal tries to run rather than face his past, but soon learns that something even worse may lurk in the future. Throughout the worlds of the Echo Maze, fragments of an undead goddess begin to awaken, and not all confrontations can be put off forever...


It's been nearly two full years since I read book one in this series, so when I first picked up The Thousand Eyes, I worried I wouldn't remember the past action well enough. The character profiles at the start actually helped, reminding me of the key points. The prose in this second volume was again very readable, and the action sequences all worked well. However, I found the time jumps, especially the largest one, a little jarring. So much was just reported to have happened without us actually seeing any of it. I also didn't connect with Csorwe and Shuthmili as much in this book; they felt rather bland. On the other hand, I found Tal more interesting. Sadly, though, the most fascinating character was Belthandros, but he disappeared for chunks of the story and did not get a POV when he was present. While I didn't dislike The Thousand Eyes and still found it entertaining, it did seem to lack the cohesion of book one and the characters did not feel as vibrant. As such, I will give this 3.5 stars, as opposed to the four stars of the first book in the series.

I received this book as a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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