Seven Mercies (Seven Devils, #2)

By L.R. Lam

Rating: 3 stars

The concluding volume of this duology sees the Devils on the run from the Empire and in tatters, after almost half their members desert. Clo and Rhea are dispatched to the Evoli empire as spies to see if they can find out how they managed to wake up the enslaved “husks” of the gerulae – people whose minds have been wiped and are completely under the control of the Oracle. Then the Oracle goes rogue and it’s up to this small group of rebels to save the empire from itself.

While I really liked having PoV chapters from all seven of the Devils, this time adding Cato and Kyla to the characters we’ve already come to know, I didn’t think this entirely worked as well as I’d hoped. Having Clo and Rhea away on their own mission for most of the middle of the book meant splitting the party and slowing the whole story down.

It did also feature one of my least favourite tropes of people having Big Feelings, not talking about them, and doing stupid things because of them. And then there were a couple of things that just didn’t seem to go anywhere. There was a big hint that the Evolians were as corrupt as the Tholosians, but that didn’t go anywhere, and then there’s Ariadne’s walking away with a minimal plan, and even what the book implied at one point that she was working on didn’t amount to anything in the end. It sort of felt like someone had forgotten to do a final editorial pass over it.

But it was still pretty readable, and the revelations with Cato were entirely unexpected. It was also sort of nice to spend time with Damocles to make him into less of a 2D villain and give him some motivation.

Book details

ISBN: 9781473225183
Publisher: Gollancz
Year of publication: 2023

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