The second part in a fantasy duology.

Publication year: 2007
Format: print
Page count: 516
Publisher: Bantam Spectra

I loved the first part of this duology and I love the second part just as much. However, the second part is somewhat darker than the first one, especially the start which has child abuse: children abandoned because of old myths and forced to work.

This book is structurally the same as the first: an orphan girl and one of the Sultan’s sons meet in secret in the Sultan’s garden to tell and hear the stories which are tattooed into the girl’s eyelids. But this time, the boy reads the stories to the girl because she has only read the stories in her one eyelid and those she has told already.

This book has two parts, as well: the Book of the Storm and the Book of the Scald. In the first one, a young, one-armed man buys a passage to the Isle of the Dead and he tells his tale to the ferryman who it turn tells his own tale to the passenger. The second book starts in a waste land where a woman and a talking leopard comes across a caged Djinn.

The stories intermingle and some of the characters in the first book return, too. They’re wonderful stories: sad and happy, terrible and warm. I highly recommend these books for anyone looking for something different in fantasy. The stories aren’t linear so there’s no point in trying to summarize the plot and there are lots and lots of characters; some are seen only once, others several times. I enjoyed most of them and don’t want to give away any surprises.

Michael Kaluta has illustrated the book. His art and the structure bring to mind the 1001 Nights which was apparently one of the inspirations behind these books.