The Devil’s Armor
by John Marco
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
0 pages; ISBN: 0756401550
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Devil’s Armor
Daw, Nov 2003, $24.95, 832 pp.
The diamond queen Jazana Carr defeats King Lorn of Norvor when his loyal nobles accept payment for betraying him. The monarch and his physically impaired infant daughter escapes. They join travelers heading to the magical fortress of Grimhold in Jador. He hopes to find sanctuary there but also prays that the mystical Akari will ease the pain in his heart and Poppy’s physical ailments.
The kingdom of Liiria’s greatest champion Lukien feels guilt over the betrayal of the dead king Akeela. Lukien, linked to the Akari essence Amaraz that he wears around his neck in an amulet guards Grimhold and Jado with his life since the Akari made him invulnerable and immortal.
Also at Grimhold is Baron Thorin Glass of the once powerful Liirian Empire. Following the Jador massacre, he stayed on hoping to find peace from his inner demons. He knows that his former lover Queen Jazanna will invade Liira in revenge for leaving her brokenhearted. He feels helpless until he finds a suit of black armor in an weapons stronghold containing the angry essence of the Akiri Kahldris . Once he dons the garb, he leaves the stronghold intending to make the kingdoms in the north in his image unless Lukien can stop him.
The key element to THE DEVIL’S ARMOR is that the entire ensemble except perhaps Kahldris (the jury is still deliberating about him) is not pure malevolent beings. Though the prime players cause good people to die especially in battle, they also perform acts of kindness. John Marco uses his cast like a chess grandmaster moving his players about the board with dexterity so that the audience receives an action-packed thriller that is essentially character driven and brings to minds the work of the sword and sorcery novels of Terry Brooks.
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