Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lord of Ruin by Dan Abnett & Mike Lee

After tackling Warpsword, the first novel in The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade: Volume Two, I dove straight into the second novel in the omnibus, and the fifth in the series, Lord of Ruin.

Following Darkblade's adventures in the previous novel trying to capture the Warpsword of Khaine, this novel begins at the end of Darkblade's journey, and then through a series of flashbacks tells the story of how Malus Darkblade gathers the final artifact and confronts Tz'arkan, the demon who is holding his spirit prisoner.  Can Darkblade hold off an invading army of Chaos creatures led by his evil sister, survive an encounter with Malekith, the Witch King, and still manage to get the final item and make it back to the demon's cave in time?

The plot of the story begins a little slow, as the stage is set, but once the ball gets rolling, there is no stopping it.  Lord of Ruin packs as much story as possible into its pages, filling them with action, adventure, moments of horror, a touch of humor, and a lot of gusto.  Malus Darkblade becomes even more of a fully-developed, well-envisioned character that feels as human as a dark elf could.  The plot is sufficiently over-the-top and action-packed to make this a wonderful thrill ride, moving from the more individual warring of Warpsword to broad scale, all out war.

Abnett & Lee upped the ante with this novel.  It was a brilliant action saga, that managed to both wrap up the main storyline from this first story arc, as well as set up the next arc that I hope comes far sooner rather than later.


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