Select one of the keywords
Necessary Evil: Milkweed #3    by Ian Tregillis order for
Necessary Evil
by Ian Tregillis
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Necessary Evil follows Bitter Seeds and The Coldest War as the conclusion to Ian Tregillis' Milkweed Triptych, which considered what if both the Nazis and the English government employed different kinds of dark magic during and after World War II.

In Germany, Herr Doktor von Westarp experimented on orphans, powering their talents with batteries connected to their skulls. Reichsbehorde subjects included gypsy twins Klaus and Gretel. Klaus moved through walls, while Gretel ruthlessly exploited her visions of all possible futures to manipulate events.

In England, Raybould Marsh worked as a Secret Intelligence Agent. Ray married the lovely Liv Turnbull in wartime and his atistocratic friend William became a warlock. Together, Ray and Will brought English warlocks into the fray - they bargained with demonic Eidolons for aid in wartime, but with terrible costs.

The Coldest War took this end-justifies-means approach to a very bitter conclusion ... the end of the world at the hands of the Eidolons, who 'are not bound by the laws of nature.' As this episode concluded, an aged and embittered Ray was thrown back into the past just as Armageddon was unleashed.

Now in Necessary Evil, Ray is back in 1940 England, 'a refugee from the world's end', planning to find Gretel and stop the future he had lived, while drawn to spend time with Liv and their baby daughter. Along the way he meets both Will and his younger self. And Gretel's plan unfolds.

As the younger Ray journeys to Berlin and back again, his elder protects his young family from what happened before. And he enlists Will to help eliminate the warlocks, getting the latter into very serious trouble. They succeed this time in hiding humanity from the Eidolons, though not without sacrifice. The Milkweed Triptych offers most unusual alternate histories, well researched and written, and very dark.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews