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The Thousand Eyes, by A.K. Larkwood

Review copy provided by the publisher. Also the author is a personal friend and shares my agent.

This is the sequel to The Unspoken Name, and it features many of the same characters–Csorwe, Shuthmili, Tal, their friends, families, enemies, gods, worlds–and also some extremely fun new ones.

I loved it, and I am finding it incredibly hard to review.

Here’s the thing: The Thousand Eyes is structurally interesting.

Very few books are particularly structurally interesting in terms of their plots. You can answer questions like, “Who is/are the main character(s)?” without going, “Well, uh, see, there’s…an interesting thing about that.” And it’s not that I think this won’t still be interesting if spoiled. It absolutely will be; I look forward to reading it again. It’s just that…there are so few books where I honestly do not see the plot coming to this degree…that I want to give people the chance to experience that too. As much as possible.

So. There are death gods and snake gods and multiple worlds and passionately dedicated romances and really complicated friendships. There are sky whales and betrayals and things that might actually not be betrayals depending on who you ask. But also still might be. There are people who are not who they thought they were, and there are people who are exactly who they knew they were all along. There may, if I think about it, be the canonical list from The Princess Bride of “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, true love….”

Would I start here, no, I absolutely would start with The Unspoken Name, because this is the best kind of sequel, it is a sequel full of consequences. But good news, The Unspoken Name is very much in print, you can buy it even as we speak and make yourself ready for The Thousand Eyes and its new characters, some of whom very much wish they were still snakes but are not, some of whom could use just a tiny bit less confidence…and some of whom are just going to carry right on with exactly as much confidence as they have and wait for the universe to catch up. Yes? Good. Highly enjoyable. Hurrah.

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