Burning Man is the second book in the Kingdom of the Serpent series by Mark Chadbourn, the sequel to Jack of Ravens
It seems in books, unlike in most movies, that the second volume of a series is often stronger than the first, and this is true for Burning Man.Jack of Ravens was a very good book, and I gave it a positive review. But I was amazed at how much better this one is. It moves much more quickly and the action is nearly non-stop. This is probably because there is less explaining necessary in this one, as the exposition was done in Jack of Ravens.
The premise here is the age-old one in which a band of heroes face impossible odds in a battle of good vs. evil. In this case, the heroes are bands of ordinary humans with extraordinary abilities called The Brothers and Sisters of Dragons. They fight against humans, gods, and The Army of 10 Billion Spiders, who can take over and inhabit the bodies of anyone at any time.
Sometimes, The Brothers and Sisters are aided by gods, but the gods have their own agenda and may change sides at any time as it suits their purpsoes. It is hard to know who to trust, and sometimes the bond between the heroes even gets twisted, causing betrayals even among themselves.
In Jack of Ravens, most of the action involved time travel. In Burning Man, there is still time travel, but most of the action takes place in modern times,shifting between the physical world and The Far Lands, where the gods dwell, and The Grim Lands, where the dead abide.
Chadbourn’s use of mythology rivals that of Tolkein, Mercedes Lackey or Neil Gaiman. He uses gods and myths from many cultures and blends them seamlessly to fit his story.
Burning Man is dark, urban and actiion-packed fantasy of the highest quality and will thrill any reader looking for high adventure and heroic myth for the modern world.