Pale Kings

Pale Kings - Ben Galley Another excellent cover picture, this time a Gryphon, a legendary creature with the head, talons, and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion.
In the times when God's, Daemons & Elves ruled in Emaneska, humans were nothing more than slaves. The Daemons grew to powerful and a great threat to the world. Orion was the lord of the Daemons and coupled with a human slave, who bore him three human children with Daemon blood.
The gods were in hiding and the humans resigned to a life of slavery but the God's had one last card to play, to save the world and start anew, they sacrificed themselves and flung the Daemons and Elves into the stars never to return along with the God's.

The three children of Orion hid amongst men, shapeshifters and immortal with great power, thousands of years they have planned and plotted to bring the age of the Daemons back to earth. Gradually ascending to positions of power they move to fulfil the prophecy of the dust song.

And one more terrible than Three shall come
one to which the stars succumb
and bring the power of Ragnorak upon the earth.
and leave all to bask in inholy birth.

The three children of Orion are the Pale Kings, the Nefalim's and a Pale King can only be killed by a brother but one is dead and the remaining two work together.

Cheska is pregnant with Fardens child, the result of Fardens infatuation and a child of two Written mages, Farden believes that Cheska still loves him but she is also the daughter of a Pale king and this is the child of the prophecy. Farden faces some tough decisions, stubborn and torn in two, can he prevail and turn the tide.

The story starts with Farden hunting for his Uncle, who was banished by the Arkmage's after succumbing to the madness that can strike a written mage and committing murder. His uncle Tyrfing was tattooed with five key elements, powerful and capable of shapeshifting, he has been lost for over ten years and may hold the key in the battle against the Pale Kings.

Pale Kings is a big improvement on The Written in every aspect, bigger & bolder, well written action sequences interlaced in an excellent plot. Characters who were on the periphery of the story in the first book get much bigger parts, all key to the story.
Durnus the Vampyre, mentor and close friend to Farden has a pivotal role to play but first he must find a release from the curse of the Vampyre and reclaim the power of his birthright.
The story contains extracts from the past, the god's manifest as shadow and attempt to influence the fight, all contribute to excellent world building as the battle reaches epic proportions. Not all survive as the major characters face a battle they can't win and it all makes for a fast paced, action packed, emotional and enjoyable read.

The final book in the trilogy Dead Stars definitely becomes one of my top ten anticipated books of 2013.