Dark Immolation, as with many good sequels, picks up right where the first book left off. As the second book in a series of five, it is up to this book to keep the story interesting and flowing steadily toward the ultimate climax in the final book. Christopher Husberg does that very well in this volume.
Knot and Winter each think the other is dead. Knot—with the help of Astrid, the vampire—is helping Cinzia and Jane lay the foundation for a return to the religious roots of Canta. Winter, on the other hand, is being held captive by Daval, the would-be emperor of Roden.
Astrid has issues of her own when she is asked to found out information by visiting a town she never wants to see again. And there are other unexpected twists, too. Husberg does a good job keeping several plotlines moving along nicely in Dark Immolation without any of them feeling neglected.
As with the first book in the series, this one handles the interesting magic system well. I gained a lot of additional insight into how things work in this book, and I found it fascinating. It was very enjoyable watching as Winter explore her abilities and gain insights into how it all worked.
Seeing Jane and Cinzia grow closer was nice. I really like it when novels contain family relationships that aren’t horrible. While these two have their ups and downs, their relationship felt very grounded in reality. The resolutions to those issues in Dark Immolation felt very satisfying. I also enjoyed seeing their younger brother, Eward, get some page time and become a stronger character.
Learning more about Astrid’s past was awesome, too. She was one of the strongest characters in the first book, and that continues in this one. Some of what it is revealed is quite disturbing, but it works for who and shat she is. This is the darkest part of the series so far. I look forward to seeing what Husberg does with her in the next three books.
As I mentioned above, the second book in a series (regardless of series length) can make or break the series. In this case, Dark Immolation very clearly makes the series. Rather than resting on his laurels from the first book, Husberg keeps everything moving at a solid pace. I am looking forward to the third book, Blood Requiem, a year from now.
Release Date: June 20, 2017 (USA)
ISBNs: 1783299177 (9781783299171)
Publisher: Titan Books
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (subplot deals with drug addiction and use, some social drinking)
Language: 1 (occasional stronger, some minor, deity)
Sexuality: 0 (description)
Violence: 4 (some brutal violence, physical abuse, some torture, race-related attacks, murder, quite a lot of death)