The sequel to A. K. Larkwood’s stunning debut fantasy, The Unspoken Name, The Thousand Eyes continues The Serpent Gates series–perfect for fans of Jenn Lyons, Joe Abercrombie, and Ursula K. Le Guin.
Two years ago, Csorwe and Shuthmili defied the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and stole his gauntlets. The gauntlets have made Shuthmili extraordinarily powerful, but they’re beginning to take a sinister toll on her. She and Csorwe travel to a distant world to discover how to use the gauntlets safely, but when an old enemy arrives on the scene, Shuthmili finds herself torn between clinging to her humanity and embracing eldritch power.
Meanwhile, Tal Charossa returns to Tlaanthothe to find that Sethennai has gone missing. As well as being a wizard of unimaginable power, Sethennai is Tal’s old boss and former lover, and Tal wants nothing to do with him. When a magical catastrophe befalls the city, Tal tries to run rather than face his past, but soon learns that something even worse may lurk in the future. Throughout the worlds of the Echo Maze, fragments of an undead goddess begin to awaken, and not all confrontations can be put off forever…
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Oh my gods that was So. Good. I will now read absolutely everything A.K. Larwood writes forever. I loved the Unspoken Name when I read it two years ago but I’d forgotten just how fun these books are. Gorgeous descriptions, adventure, proper creepy utterances from the gods, relatable characters, wry humor, and a lot of cursing between Csorwe and Tal.
I loved catching up with Csorwe and Tal and Shuthmili and the gang. And I loved the adventure and was just cruising along until– boom! plot twist! 15 years have passed. And then I got to meet Tsereg and let me tell you, they are an absolute delight. And seeing cranky know-it-all teenager Tal suddenly de facto parenting cranky teenager know-it-all Tsereg was just amazing. Really everyone should read these books if only for the Tal and Tsereg dynamic.
A.K. Larkwood does SUCH a good job capturing character voices. They are so relatable and the wry humor is just my style. It was such an interesting experience, seeing the world through Csorwe and Tal and Shuthmlli’s eyes. They all have very different internal voices and perspectives and they all ring very true. The gods are much more prominent in this book than the previous one, and they also have very distinctive voices.
I was absolutely enthralled, I flew through it in two days, I never wanted it to end, and I definitely shed a tear or two at the end. But also the end felt very right and I am satisfied with it. I would definitely not say no to more books in this series — I would give a lot for them, actually — but if this world ends here then I am okay with that.
Also! Csorwe and Shuthmili are lesbians and have a wonderful relationship, Tal is gay and tends toward dysfunctional relationships, and Tsereg is nonbinary. Also Tsereg is a treasure. I really can’t emphasize that enough. And Tal, Csorwe, and Shuthmili are SO relatable and just feel real, that’s how well-developed they are.
*Thanks to NetGalley and MacMillan-Tor/Forge for providing an e-arc for review.