The Stone Light
This second volume in the Dark Reflections Trilogy begins as teenage Venetian orphan Merle, bearing the mysterious Flowing Queen—Venice’s protecting spirit—and the powerful winged lion Vermithrax descend into Hell to seek help from its ruler, Lord Light. After thirty years of siege, Venice has been conquered by the Egyptian pharaoh and his army of mummy warriors, who have been raised from the dead by the priests of Horus on powerful, pyramid-shaped machines called collectors. Now that the entire world, with the exception of the Czarist kingdom, is in Egyptian hands, it seems that only Lord Light will be able to save Venice. But, before they can reach him, Merle and Vermithrax must contend with the fearsome inhabitants of Hell, known as the Lilim. A further surprise awaits as they discover Lord Light’s true identity.
Meanwhile, Merle’s friend Serafin, formerly a master thief, has stayed behind in Venice and joined a group of street boys led by the beautiful sphinx Lalapeya in an attempt to break into the Doge’s palace and assassinate the pharaoh. But all is not as it seems, and Serafin will have a hard time distinguishing between friend and enemy.
The Stone Light is an excellent continuation of Kai Meyer’s inventive, fast-paced trilogy. But you should read the first volume, The Water Mirror, first, or you will be hopelessly confused, especially since Meyer puts us in the middle of the action at the very beginning and does not waste time explaining what has happened before. Fans of the first book will welcome the return of old friends—not just the spunky main characters, but also Eft, the mermaid with human legs, and Junipa, the girl with mirror eyes who can see into other worlds. I cannot wait for the third installment. Ages 12 and up.