When True Night Falls
With her ground-breaking fantasy novel, Black Sun Rising, C.S. Friedman introduced readers to a world far-distant from Earth, a beautiful planet which at first appeared to be an ideal home for humankind. But the seismic activity which periodically took its toll of the world of Erna was only the most obvious of the trials with which the colonists would be faced. For there were other powers at work upon the planet, chief among them the fae–a terrifying force of nature with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, indiscriminately drawing forth a person’s worst nightmare visions or most treasured dreams and bringing them to life. For twelve centuries, humanity’s survival has been defined by its battle with the fae, but recently the ranks of the dark fae have begun to increase dramatically and unless something drastic is done to shift the balance, humanity may soon face a final terrifying descent into oblivion.
When True Night Falls returns to Erna at a crucial time in this undeclared war. Over the years, five attempts have been made to cross the planet’s greatest ocean and settle the lands in the east. But the Novatlantic Divide, riddled with active volcanoes and fae-born dangers, has apparently swallowed each expedition in its turn, leaving the fates of these explorers forever veiled in mystery.
Determined to seek out and destroy the source of the ever-strengthening evil he sought in Black Sun Rising, Damien Vryce, the warrior priest, has renewed his uneasy and dangerous alliance with Gerald Tarrant, the immortal sorcerer known as the Hunter, and together with Hesseth, a woman of Erna’s native species, the rakh, they will dare the treacherous ocean crossing. But the crossing may well prove to be the least of their worries. For though the eastern continent has indeed been settled by those who went before them and appears to be a haven of peace, this image of paradise masks an evil that threatens the very essence of the human spirit. And, forced to flee south into realms long since abandoned to the dark fae and its creatures, Damien and Tarrant will soon confront far more dangerous foes, enemies who almost seem to await their coming.
Lost in a land where those who offer hope of salvation may prove to be the true masters of treachery, and steadily drawn toward a rendezvous which may rob them of that which is even more precious than life, will Damien, Tarrant, and Hesseth find their own alliance shattered by power out to possess or destroy all of humankind?
“Warrior priest Damien Vryce and immortal sorcerer Gerald Tarrant reunite in an uneasy alliance to combat an evil that threatens the delicate stability of life on Erna. There the mysterious force known as the “fae” conjures monsters from the stuff of dreams. This sequel to Black Sun Rising ( LJ 11/15/91) secures Friedman’s reputation both as a gifted storyteller and an innovative creator. A good choice for most libraries.”
“On the planet Erma, humans have survived for 12 centuries in uneasy coexistence with the fae, a natural force with paranormal powers. Now those powers and the hostility of the fae are increasing, human survival on Erma is threatened, and a human priest-warrior and a native Erman female must go on a quest in search of a solution to the burgeoning conflict. This tale definitely straddles the border between fantasy and sf, appealing to readers of both in the manner of Bradley’s chronicles of Darkover or McCaffrey’s of Pern.”
“Second volume in the Cold Fire trilogy (after the well- received Black Sun Rising, 1991–not reviewed)–a disquieting hybrid epic with a science-fiction backdrop (starship colonists marooned on a remote, hostile planet) and a fantasy plotline: to survive, humanity must battle planet Erna’s inimical fae, a sort of evil magic, not to mention the cat-like natives, human sorcerers, demons, and what-all. Not for the purists, but competently wrought, independently intelligible, reasonably engaging, and worth a try for eclectic readers.”
“Friedman writes cogently on the nature of human desire for knowledge and the dangerous covenants necessary to attain it.”
“This sequel to BLACK SUN RISING secures Friedman’s reputation both as a gifted storyteller and an innovative creator.”
“Exciting, at times hypnotic, this is a worthy successor to BLACK SUN RISING.”