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The Hounds of Avalon (Dark Age, Book 3) by Mark Chadbourn
Cover Artist: John Picacio
Review by Mel Jacob
Pyr Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616142032
Date: 27 July 2010 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The concluding volume of the trilogy The Dark Age, The Hounds of Avalon, draws characters from all the books in both the Age of Misrule and this trilogy. Mark Chadbourn delivers an exciting climax, but while each volume stands alone, the saga will continue. Each trilogy features the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons. Five in all, they struggle against the forces of evil, and, in The Dark Age series, fight the Void in its relentless march to destroy all living things.

Mallory and Sophie from The Devil in Green, reappear. Caitlin Shepherd from The Queen of Sinister, no longer a sister of Dragons wants nothing more than to regain that status. Hal Campbell, chief clerk in the Ministry of Defence for the new government in Oxford, learns to his dismay he is a brother of dragons, but seeks to avoid that role. Hunter, Hal's best friend discovers he is one too, but Hal says nothing. With the exception of Hal, the others team up, but his identity remains hidden until the end of the novel.

Having seen Hunter's men shoot Sophie, Mallory is certain she died and vows to destroy all such men. Taken prisoner, he survives only to wreck vengeance. Hunter frees him and they escape to search for the former brothers and sisters of dragons. Two of the first brothers are dead, but two sisters and one brother remain. The new brothers hope to convince them to fill the place of the missing fifth member.

Ceridwen rescues the wounded Sophie and takes her to the Court of the Final Word for healing. Its ruler refuses to help beyond that and sends them away. Fallen members of the Tuatha Dé Danann, shrunken in size, chase them determined to kill them. They flee to Ceridwen's home, the Court of Soul's Ease. Their enemies follow and lay siege to the Court.

Caitlin struggles to regain her powers and convinces Sophie to yield her most precious memory as the price. Caitlin also calls the Morrigan forth to aid her and help to fight off the evil Tuatha Dé Danann. However, when Morrigan takes over, no one can control her. Sophie and Caitlin witness the fall of the Court of Soul's Ease and the destruction of most of its inhabitants, but make it back to their world. Sophie comes to recognize the terrible price she paid to help Ceridwen.

The Void's creatures, aided by rogue humans, take over most of England and advance on Oxford to complete the destruction of humanity and good. Only the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons stand in their way.

Chadbourn continues to mine Celtic myth and England for his trilogies. His other favorites: corrupt government, conniving politicians, and misguided military men. They all threaten the survival of humanity. He ends the trilogy in an interesting and perhaps unexpected way, but leaves openings for another trilogy. Those who love the saga will want to see where he takes them next.

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