This is book #2 of Berg's trilogy, preceded by TRANSFORMATION. It is a 'sword and sorcery book, true, but she has a really off-beat slant on the idea of magic and performing magic. A really good read.
From back cover: A warrior once more! After being enslaved for sixteen years, Seyonne has been set free. For his efforts in helping the Derzhi defeat the Lord of Demons, his homeland of Ezzaria has been returned to his people. Despite whisperings that he's been tainted by his captivity Seyonne resumes the mantle of Warden, which allows him to enter human souls to free them from demonic possession.
Then he confronts a demon whose purpose is not to drive humans to madness but to observe and learn about the world around it. Unable to find any malicious intent, Seyonne allows the demon to live. But when his elders discover this violation of his oath, they exile him from his vocation.
Now Seyonne must uncover the truth about the real relationship between the demons and the Ezzarians--before their endless war destroys the world they know.
Sadly, Revelation is nowhere near as involving as Transformation was. While Transformation was flawed, its beating heart was the relationship between Seyonne and Aleksander, and that relationship was almost completely absent in this follow-up. Instead, the novel follows Seyonne back to Ezzaria and then through several large set-pieces, each of which felt too dragged out. None of the new characters grabbed me, and the resolution was obvious from 200 pages away.
I think the major flaw in this novel is its female characters. Carol Berg has admitted that writing women did not come naturally to her, and I think that is fairly obvious in Revelation. The story revolves around Seyonne's relationship with three women: his Aife Fiona, his wife Ysanne, and the demoness Vallynne. The plot rests on whether or not each of these women will trust him. And unfortunately, none of them is ever explored enough for the reader to make any sense of their decisions. Fiona in particular is given a clunky backstory at the very end of the novel that explains everything while explaining nothing. Each of the women was extraordinarily interesting in theory and completely flat in practice.
Still, it was a decent novel. Berg's writing is never painful, though her pacing continues to be problematic, and when I think about the novel I can see the bones of a brilliant story. It is definitely strong enough (and leaves enough unresolved, though the novel has enough of an ending to satisfy temporarily) for me to read the final volume. I just hope that Aleksander returns and that Fiona, at the very least, is made more real than she was in this novel.