Magic of Twilight
Daw, Feb 2008, $24.95
The city-state Nessantico has annexed all of the nearby territory. However although still the sole superpower in the region; for the first time since the conquering began centuries ago the Holdings of Nessantico teeter, but not from without. Within the empire, there are groups who radically differ especially on the issue of religion; while others just want more power regardless of how they achieve it.
The time for a schism seems rapidly to be coming as the current ruler Marguerite ca'Ludovici is nearing her fiftieth year as the Kraljica. Besides religious fundamentalists plotting her assassination, her son A'Kralj Justi ca'Mazzak wants to rule now; and the subjected monarch who controls much of the city-state’s army H’rzg Jan ca'Vцrl considers a coup. Others also scheme. However, Marguerite has some loyal followers too in the military, in the religious circles, amongst her court members, and amidst the people. Civil war seems imminent.
The rotating perspective from numerous individuals highlights the differing opinions and motivations re the future of the Holdings of Nessantico. This technique enhances the complexity level of the sixteen episodic storyline as the events are seen from multiple changing views; this also adds depth to the prime players who show up in most of the chapters. Although the use of native vernacular makes the novel real seem real, this reviewer has always found it a distraction when overused (except in A Clockwork Orange) as is the case here. Still fans who appreciate a strong insightful political fantasy will enjoy this superb opening tale.