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The Lord of Lies, book two of the Ea Cycle, by David Zindell

Review by Mike 2004-02-23

Spoilers for The Lightstone

Valashu Elahad recovered the long lost Lightstone, a golden cup that bears a strong resemblance to the Holy Grail, in the first book of the Ea Cycle (The Lightstone). However, its full power can only be awakened by the Maitreya, the enlightened one, and so Val once again has to gather some of the seekers of the Lightstone and set out on a quest, this time to find out who the Maitreya is. But the dark lord Morjin wants to recover the Lightstone for his own ends, and is doing his best to stop Val at every turn and wrestle the cup from him.

Now this set-up looks promising enough, but unfortunately The Lord of Lies is a pretty weak sequel. Maybe itís just mid-book syndrome, but it seems Zindell ran out of story in the first book, and now is struggling to piece something together without a general plan. Val and his companions travel over large parts of Ea, but itís like they are fumbling around in the dark, and as a reader you also feel lost and confused.

The lack of a good plot is only part of the problem though. The characters are pretty one-dimensional and Zindellís prose does not flow very well. In The Lightstone the well-paced story kept these things in the background, but without that distraction they become very obvious.

I hope Zindell gets back on track with the next installment of the series. I can not rate The Lord of Lies higher than 2 amulets.

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