The Dark Volume review

dark-volumeGordon Dahlquist’s second book The Dark Volume is accurately titled. Like the great airship that crashes on the Iron Coast at the end of the first book, it lacks the lift of its predecessor, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. Instead of the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso format of The Divine Comedy Dahlquist begins with the Ascension, followed by the Descension. Will the third book be the Rescension?

Miss Temple, Cardinal Chang, and Doctor Svenson have survived their confrontation with the cabal on the airship, where Miss Temple slew her former fiance. He and the majority of the cabal were destroyed, but some of their opponents took drastic glass-related measures to survive.  The artist-alchemist who discovered the properties of the blue glass was not among the survivors, but his knowledge was captured in a glass book before he expired.  This is the highly sought after dark volume, and new alliances are formed and fractured in the pursuit of its resources.  When it is at last obtained by a party with the power to employ it it is found to be corrupted by the man’s death and no one gets what they wanted from it.  I didn’t get quite what I wanted from reading The Dark Volume on the heels of the luminous first book, but that is often the case with second books.  I look forward to the Redemption of the third book.

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