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The Last Page    by Anthony Huso order for
The Last Page
by Anthony Huso
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Anthony Huso's The Last Page is an unusual dark fantasy set mainly in the Duchy of Stonehold. It follows the exploits of Stonehold's reluctant High King Caliph Howl, and of Caliph's lover, Shradnae witch Sena, whose magic is based on blood.

They meet as schoolmates at the Desdae High College, with a shared interest in holomorphic lore. Even at this early stage, Sena is obsessed with finding a legendary tome, the Cisrym Ta, and with unlocking its secrets. She plans to use Caliph and his love for her, to do so, and ultimately rejects her own sisterhood and their plans for her.

When Caliph ascends the throne - after failing to run away from his obligations - he finds a realm about to be torn apart by civil war, and whose energy supplies are failing. As Sena flits in and out of his life and a fleet of airships approaches the capital city of Isca, he suffers betrayals and assassination attempts, and is forced to make many hard choices, including authorizing the use of solvitriol power, which 'runs on souls'.

Story progress in The Last Page is encumbered by an overly complex technology of magic and its characters are not well developed, their motivations unclear. However this dark fantasy does reflect a powerful imagination.

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