DAW, Jul 1 2014, $24.95
In fourteenth century England, Elisha Barber has become the most feared magus in the kingdom after he committed regicide using magic (see Elisha Barber); the aristocrats and other powerful entities either want his support or his death. Currently the Duke Randall, whose wife is a mage, gives Elisha shelter. In spite of Prince Alaric’s affront to his daughter Rosalynn by choosing Brigit the mage to be his bride, Randall supports him to replace the late King Hugh as the next ruler before the French invade what they perceive a weak neighbor.
After a dance with Rosalynn, Elisha is asked by the duke to marry his daughter. The commoner says no, but agrees to escort her to a convent, which also will enable him to try to retrieve the talisman Brigit took from him. Before he leaves, Elisha is unable to prevent the murder of a French mage in which Barber was the intended target. On what proves to be a dangerous trek with enemies everywhere, Elisha rescues a strange female and befriends Alaric’s outlawed brother Prince Thomas the traitor.
The second Dark Apostle medieval fantasy is an exciting fourteenth century thriller due to a terrific ethical hero trying to save lives, but considered dangerous and heretical for his medical practices and for slaying the king. The key to this strong saga is the grim English background that makes the magic and its classes of practitioners seem genuine while also containing a flicker of enlightenment when compared to the implications of the Papal-French monarchy pact. E.C. Ambrose provides another powerful extremely dark historical fantasy with a great final spin.