Hand of the King's Evils sets the stage for the sixth and concluding novel in the Outremer series, leading our cast of fascinating characters to the very borders of the mysterious Forbidden Land of Surayon itself. It is important to note that Chaz Brenchley's series was originally published as a trilogy, but the American publisher has broken the series down into six novels. This helps to explain the lack of true climax you will find at the end of this particular book. This is not to say nothing exciting happens here, however. The shocking ending of the previous book precipitates a great deal of action in these pages. The daughter of the King's Shadow has been abducted on her wedding night (making Julianne's score card read: Husbands 2, Wedding nights 0), right out from under the noses of her family and friends. As powerful as her father, the King's Shadow, is, he cannot see where Julianne has been taken, although it quickly becomes clear just who her abductor was. The lady's best friend Elisande also feels rather helpless, as even the djinni who now serves her proves unable or unwilling to rescue her friend. She and Julianne's father set out across the desert in search of Julianne, soon joined by Marron, the Ghost Walker whose blood runs with the power of the King's Daughter, and his companion Jemel. Somewhere behind them rides Hasan, Julianne's husband and the leader of an army of united Sharai warriors intent on recovering the lady and then taking their long-anticipated war to the kingdom of Outremer itself. Unbeknownst to our party of heroes, other men are working their way to the borders of Surayon. Imber, Julianne's first husband, follows the call of a djinni to come, he hopes, to the aid of the bride he lost so precipitously; Sieur Anton d'Escrivey, whom we last met mourning the loss of the young Marron (with whom he enjoyed a most controversial of relationships) amidst a veritable sea of dead men on the grounds of Roc de Rancon, heads in the same direction amidst an army of Knights' Ransomers seeking to locate and lay waste to the hidden land of Surayon and its heretical people; a new character also follows a path to the same destination, a Preacher who heals the sick with a holy relic and leads a peasant army of the zombie-like benefactors of his healing magic on a quest to seek divine retribution against Surayon. As the book ends, the Folded Land is revealed to those around it for the first time in forty years, and the fate of this land and of the characters we have so faithfully followed throughout their journey to this time and place now hangs in the balance. The only certainty seems to be that war will come, that the army of the Sharai will battle the forces of Outremer, and that blood will fill the streets of the now-revealed Surayon.
part of 6 book series set in an alternate universe where people very like the christians and the muslims during the crusade fight each other and a hidden land of wise, magical people. Great adventure.