Review: The Immortal Throne

Posted: December 22, 2016 by in Books We Love (5/5 single_star) Meta: Stella Gemmell, Dark Fantasy

Stella Gemmell returns with the paraquel-sequel(?) to THE CITY with THE IMMORTAL THRONE. (I had to Google “paraquel” to find out that the term I wanted was paraquel.)

I quite loved THE CITY, even though it’s darker than my normal fare, and I admit I waxed poetic about it. Well, I’m here to wax poetic a second time. THE IMMORTAL THRONE is a worthy successor/precursor(?) to THE CITY even if the timeline of the plot is a little weird.

It starts in the middle of THE CITY, and jumps… a year forward? Six months? I’m not sure, and the book isn’t clear. We get to revisit some of the characters from THE CITY, and meet some new ones. The book deals with the politics around a coup and the dramatic changes governments and citizens experience. It is really a story about the phrase “power corrupts.” New characters are deftly introduced in the context of the story, and old characters are used to bridge the gap between the books. I did miss some characters from the first book who didn’t make a showing, but the new characters were very well written, and interesting to follow. (It’s hard to want to use names here, as so much that happens in THE CITY hasn’t happened at the start of THE IMMORTAL THRONE–the spoiler risk on this series is exceptionally high).

It’s hard to get into the plot here without spoilers as the beginning is still before the end of THE CITY, and you absolutely have to have read THE CITY to understand the context of this book. The book has much less military style fiction here, and it focuses far more on the politics of a dark fantasy setting.

If you like dark fantasy, political plot, and well-crafted writing then you'll want to pick up THE IMMORTAL THRONE post haste.

Gemmell’s prose is at times poetic, at times stark, but it remains masterful and carefully crafted throughout the book. Her use of language to impart emotion this time around was a bit surprising and felt a little stronger than the first time. Her writing here is the sort of “hopeful” dark fantasy I love. It’s dark, there’s violence, pain and cruelty, but it’s entwined with hope, honor, and life. This book is the sort of book I wanted The Game of Thrones series to be.

The ending was spot on with closure (if a little convoluted), and I’m not sure a place was left for a third book. I do hope there is one, but it’s hard to say. If you like dark fantasy, political stories, and well-crafted writing then this is certainly a book you’ll want to pick up.

  • Recommended Age: 13+
  • Language: 13+
  • Violence: Blood will get everywhere if you read this book
  • Sex: Some subtle hinting

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