Publisher: Dutton Adult
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Origins: From Publisher for Review
Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodline series returns with the second installment in her acclaimed Age of X series.
Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.
Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.
Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.
Series: Gameboard of the Gods (1), The Immortal Crown (2)
Review: THE IMMORTAL CROWN continues the story of investigator Justin March and praetorian Mae Koskinen which began in GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS. This time they’re assigned to a diplomatic delegation to Arcadia, the RUNA’s neighbor to the south (formerly the Southern United States). In Arcadia, religion and politics are tightly bound and women are chattel, but there are powerful forces fighting for the souls of the Elect. Mae is posing as Justin’s concubine and has her own agenda – to rescue her niece who her family sent away for being illegitimate. While all this is going on, a reporter is forming a connection to someone close to Justin which may compromise much more than their mission in Arcadia. Just a note: If you haven’t read GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS at all or in a while, you’ll be a bit lost, so make sure to read it first. THE IMMORTAL CROWN gives a lot more time to Justin and his relationship with Odin. Mae also had her own experiences with an unknown deity who has been giving her assistance in finding her niece. It was smart of the author to make the religion of Arcadia a mélange of the mores and practices of many current religions. THE IMMORTAL CROWN shows more of an evolution in Mae’s character, showing her humanity and her connection to gods as an Elect. I’m excited about this series because it shows the gods in a whole new light. I am intrigued to see where the author will take these characters and how far beyond their limits they can stretch. THE IMMORTAL CROWN takes us deeper into this world, but it definitely includes a lot of world- and character-building which can slow down the action. The cliffhanger at the end makes me itch for the next book! If you’re looking for something different, pick up the Age of X series.