The last few remaining agents of the Relic Guild have been separated and none of them knows who else is left alive. As Samuel and his Aelfirian companions follow the Avatar’s instructions, hunting for something to help destroy Lord Spiral, Clara is trapped in her mind with Marney’s spirit and the remnants of Known Things, seeking for secrets Spiral was hiding even from his most trusted followers. Back in Labrys Town, the Genii have released a plague that is ravaging the city and with the Relic Guild out of the city, someone else must step up and fight the Genii in their stronghold. As the different factions work towards a final battle, even the Genii start to realise it might not be in their best interests to continue on Lord Spiral’s destructive path…
‘The Watcher Of Dead Time’ is the final book in Edward Cox’s inventive fantasy trilogy, ‘The Relic Guild’. Set in a fabulously detailed world, where hundreds of different realms are linked together through doors that open to a magicker’s touch, we follow the last of the human magickers who make up the Relic Guild.
I’ve found this series to have one of the most imaginative and poetically named settings that I’ve come across in fantasy novels, with the ideas of labyrinths and networks of portals to other worlds described and utilised beautifully. ‘The Watcher Of Dead Time’, as the final instalment, had a lot of tidying up to do and I was worried that it would feel rushed or end disappointingly, but Cox managed to keep the pace spot on and bring it to a satisfying end. However, there’s still plenty of scope to explore the worlds more and I really hope that we do re-visit it and see a few more of the Aelfirian realms that have been hinted at.
In terms of characters, this was a pretty satisfying novel to read. Everyone really steps up a level and the balance of past and present in the storytelling worked really well to further our knowledge of the characters and what drives them. I feel that the balance of past and present was spot on and it never felt like we were being taken away from the action of the present too much. It was always with a purpose that more details of the past were revealed.
All in all, I think this was a great conclusion to a fantastic debut series and I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing what Cox has to give us next.
(pub: Gollancz, 2016. 358 page enlarged paperback. Price: £16.99 (UK), $23.99 (US), $26.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-473-20036-4)