Jaws of Darkness

Jaws of Darkness

Turtledove, Harry

Book 5.0 of Darkness

Language: English

Publisher: MacMillan

Published: Jan 1, 2003

Words: 238156
Pages: 933


The grand conflict for control of the continent of Derlavai rages on, in a battle with all the drama and terror of the Second World War - but for artillery and bombers, read magical fire and dragons. Yet hope may be dawning at last. The terrible onslaught of the conquering forces of Algarve - who power their battle magics with the life energy of their murdered victims - begins to founder as it runs into Habakkuk: a sorcerous ship of ice used by the embattled nations of Lagoas and Kuusamo to ferry their deadly dragons across the seas to war. But though the tide has begun to turn, the conflict is far from over. The widely disdained Kaunians still struggle desperately to escape as the Algarvians kill them by the thousands - for life energy, but also simply for the crime of being Kaunian. And as the death of innocent civilians on both sides continues to feed the flames of war, those who have struggled to survive and preserve their freedom have only their will to see them through... From Publishers Weekly The absorbing, character-centered fifth volume (after 2002's Rulers of the Darkness) in Turtledove's fantasy saga paralleling WWII ranks as the strongest yet in the series. WWII buffs will of course enjoy watching the equivalents of the Manhattan Project, D-Day, the great Russian offensives of 1944, the appearance of German secret weapons and the withdrawal of Romania from the Axis. And the author continues to handle the action, both magical and martial, as deftly as ever. But the heart of the volume is the characters who face predicaments and ethical challenges that are personal yet universal. Ealstan and his Kaunian wife, Vanai, are any young couple trying to love, give their child a safe, sane and reasonably sanitary life and get a good night's sleep-but in the midst of war and genocide. When the Kuusaman mage Pekka confronts her passion for the Lagoan sorcerer Fernao, she ends up hip-deep in problems that would roil a suburban pharmaceutical warehouse, let alone a sorcerous research center at war. Countess Krasta bears an illegitimate child after her brother, Skarnu, returns to a liberated Valmiera, and only the possibility that its father is a member of the local resistance keeps her from suffering the usual fate of female collaborators. Long but ultimately compelling, this book augurs well for the last volume and underscores Turtledove's astonishingly fertile imagination. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Booklist The massive fifth volume of Turtledove's Darkness saga will once again absorb the series' faithful following and be hard for newcomers to deal with. Fans will be moved that Ealstan and Vanai are finally parents, though at just about the time that a Forthwegian uprising makes their adopted hometown, Eoforwic, a battle zone. The Kuusaman mage Pekka and the Lagoan sorcerer Fernao finally become lovers in the midst of their progress toward making their superpotent, energy-releasing magic available to all. Meanwhile, Pekka's husband has found his own comforts aboard the ensorcelled, dragon-carrying iceberg *Habbakuk* (that name is a test for readers who fancy themselves World War II cognoscenti) and participates in the joint Kuusaman-Lagoan invasion of mainland Derlavai. Under Marshal Rather and a seasoned cadre of now-expert officers, the Unkerlanters advance in overwhelming strength, so that one suspects Ealstan's collaborationist cousin, Sidroc, isn't going to last much longer. Nor is the Algarvian major, Spinello, what with Vanai and Ealstan deciding that vengeance on him will be theirs--and soon. Turtledove is turning World War II upside down, much as he did the Civil War in two other series. But Darkness is more ambitious and dramatic, features more historic detail and well-developed characters, and has a darker tone. *Roland Green* Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved