|In Ashes Lie is another unlabeled sequel, but
fortunately holds up well enough on its own; I was never left feeling lost by references
to past occurrences. The human characters at least are new, since it takes place half a
century or so after the events of the first Onyx Court book, Midnight Never Come.
The story does remind me a little of Newtons Sleep. Both deal with the
politics of the English Civil War and its parallels in the affairs of secret powers,
presented in a non-linear manner. In this case, the tale jumps between the climactic
struggle against the Great Fire of 1666 and various earlier events, with the conflicts of
the Faerie courts impacting on the mortals above and vice versa. This is a somewhat
lighter, more straightforward read, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The main
characters are easy to sympathise with, and both the Onyx Hall of the Faeries and London
above it are convincingly portrayed.
The book does seem to endorse the divine right of kings, which struck me as a little
dubious for a book set in the real world's history. I find it easier to accept the
monarchy as having special significance in a purely fantasy realm. But it doesn't paint a
rose-tinted picture of royalty; the kings' flaws and mistakes are amply acknowledged.
It's an enjoyable book, and the rest of the series is going on my to-read list.