In Rebellion, his follow-up to Vengeance, Irvine’s mastery of epic fantasy amazes, his twisted plot thickens and his imagery awes. Tali and Rix are complex characters who become clearer in their destinies as the worldbuilding continues to astound. Irvine introduces more fantastical creatures, people, places and things, paving the way for what is sure to be a spectacular finale.
Peace is impossible now that Lyf, the Cython mage-king, has escaped, bent on waging a vengeance-fueled war with Hightspall, whose leadership is weak and whose land is in decline. The former slave Tali’s searching for answers, for ways to save her people — and to elude Lyf, who wants her treasure. She’s counting on help from her unlikely ally Rix, who’s seeking answers of his own. And yet another terror — in the guise of a hero — has escaped his magical prison. Tali and Rix struggle to be more than just pawns in a 2,000-year war. (ORBIT, Mar., 656 pp., $15.99)