I got this as an advanced reading copy (ARC) through the Amazon Vine program. This book is being targeted at people who love the Dresden Files and Simon Green’s “Secret Histories” series. Given that and the description provided; I was excited to read it. This is the first novel in the Twenty Palaces series; so far three books in this series have been sold. The second one is titled “Game of Cages” and is scheduled for a May 2010 release. It was a very good book.
Ray Lilly has been in prison for a while, he is released to serve as a driver for one of the members of the Twenty Palaces society, Annalise. The Twenty Palaces Society is a group of sorcerers that police rogue sorcerers and destroy any Predators they bring into the normal world. Ray and Annalise are sent to a small town to find out why all of their children are disappearing.
Overall this was a great book. The plot is well-put together, the action scenes are amazing, and the action is non-stop. While Ray and Annalise are not the most likable characters, they are characters that you grow to like as a reader and they have a lot of depth to them. Ray will remind in many ways of Harry Dresden, he takes a lot of beatings and still tries to do what he things is right. The world that this novel takes place in is also fascinating and in this book you don’t learn a ton about the Twenty Palaces Society, just enough to make you want to learn more.
There is a lot going on in this book, no one is who they seem to be, and the action scenes fall one into the next. I guess that is my only complaint about this book. The action scenes were basically one on top of the other and they came at you so fast you never had time to catch your breath. I also think that the action scenes were so plentiful that, at times, they prevented us from getting to spend time actually learning more about the characters. I guess I have one other small complaint and that was that this story was very isolated to this one small town. You get glimpses of another world out there, but you never get to really take part in it…hopefully we will get to see more of this interesting world in future books.
I liked this book and am eager to read the next one. I think this has potential to be a really excellent series. A great read. I agree that if you like the Dresden Files, you will probably like this series also.