Lord of the Silent Kingdom
by Glen Cook
Review by Harriet Klausner
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0765306859
Date: 20 February, 2007 List Price $27.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
In the Realm of the Gods, the immortals are shaken by Else's blasphemy and conclude this heretic must die. However Emperor Sublime V has other concerns at the moment as the Tyranny of the Night is methodically freezing the lands around the Mother Sea. He names the Praman hero Captain-General Piper Hecht and assigns him to prevent what seems inevitable, the destruction of the empire and beyond. In spite of the danger from the Gods, Piper also must battle the Patriarchs, who want to end the emperor rule of Grail. He finds an ally and lover in financier Anna Mozilla and learns that the great sorcerer Cloven "Ninth Unknown" Februaren who was thought was dead actually lives and supports Piper, who the century plus old wizard believes is the only hope for humanity.
In book one, Captain Else is so naive he was unaware that a human could never kill a Tyranny of the Night Instrumentality so he goes ahead and does so. In book two, he is a lot more knowledgeable about the ways of the world, which proves a two edged sword as he now knows what he cannot do so it is harder to go ahead and do it as knowledge leads to doubts that turns out to be a dangerous thing in his case. Anna is an intelligent advisor to the Patriarch and to Piper as well as the latter's lover; another sign of his maturing.
The Grail Empire and the Praman Holy Lands are reminiscent of the medieval era when the West felt it was their divine right to take back the Holy Land from the infidels guarding it so launched a series of Crusades in the name of God to do so. Thus the realm consists of warring religions at a time that mortals need to bind as the Tyranny of the Night is freezing the land making it slowly inhospitable for humans to live on. Even inside the Grail Empire political squabbles keep the nation from putting all its resources into preventing the deliberate destruction of the land by the Gods. Though newcomers must read the first tale The Tyranny of the Night as the author wastes no time with back-feeding, Glen Cook continues with his anti-war message that serves as the underlying theme of this terrific epic fantasy.