The Skull Throne
The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty. Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honour and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.
Reviewed on 7th September 2017
The fourth novel in the Demon Cycle sees us rejoin the characters of the first three stories (and indeed the novellas) as they deal with the events that concluded the third novel, and the absence of two of their number.
It's... different. It's a while since I read the other books, but while they spent a lot of time world building from different cultures and different points of view, that almost felt like a secondary aspect here - touching only briefly on the backgrounds of new characters, and in one part featuring an extended (but shorter than usual) flashback recalling life so far.
Most of the narrative then is taking up with fighting. Indeed, apart from a brief pause in the middle of the book for some politics, almost the entire 750 pages is taken up with some sort of fight. I found this tiresome - action sequences in books rarely work for me as my imagination isn't amazingly visual, and slowing down to try to absorb what was happening blow by blow interrupts what for me is the enjoyable part of storytelling.
So overall a bit disappointed in part four. It feels a little like it's just shuffling pieces into place ready for the finale, and I hope that when it comes in a few months' time it's able to bring the series back up to its original high standard.