Ms. Gemmell wrote this book totally on her own and it’s her very first book. I found it to be a good read. There are some things that are somewhat the same as some found in her late husband’s books, but then there are differences.
The author built the book based on some real history, but the plot is totally of the fictional world.
The plot is about a once great Empire ruled now by an alien race. It is now in decline and decay from what it once was. Compared to her husband's writings, this author's plot and characters are quite different. The feeling of the book is also different.
The Empire is set in a war that seems endless with most of those around them. The Emperor also called the Immortal is slowly losing the war, but he is set solid to win as he had in all the previous wars.
This book is filled with action, intrigue, treason, and political problems, which makes a powerful, thrilling and suspenseful story. It’s a very hard book to set aside. I felt that way to the last page. I did find the tone of the book rather horrific and found that it grips the soul. The author did a good job of the descriptions and parts of the City's underground world. Sometimes I found the characters were not what they seemed to be.
I did find the story to be just a little complicated. There is a lot of uncaring and unsympathetic attitudes towards others. The drive is simply and entirely for themselves.
The City is ancient, layers upon layers. Once a thriving metropolis, it sprawled beyond its bounds, inciting endless wars and creating a barren wasteland of what was once green and productive.
In the center of the City lives the emperor, a man in his prime though he should be very old. Some grimly speculate that he is no longer human, if he ever was. A small number have come to the desperate conclusion that the only way to stop the war is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life.
From the mazelike sewers below the City to the blood-soaked fields of battle, the rebels pin their hopes on one man?Shuskara. The emperor’s former general, he was betrayed long ago and is believed to be dead. But he has survived, hiding from his immortal foe. The time has come for him to engage in one final battle to free the City from the creature who dwells at its heart, pulling the strings that keep the land drenched in gore.