Review

Emissary: Book Two of the Percheron Saga

by Fiona McIntosh

EMISSARY marks the second installment of The Percheron
Saga
, Fiona McIntosh's daring shift from the standard fantasy
that the majority of readers tackle, into the shifting sands of a
more Middle Eastern-flavored world. Daring in the sense that she
had proven tremendously capable with the classic formula and had
found success. To take on a world so vastly different is brave, and
to her credit it must be said that her abilities are not wasted in
the endeavor. Percheron is a marvel to behold.

Young Boaz, the Zar of Percheron, is at a crossroads. The one
person you'd think he could trust, his mother Herezah, is the one
person he mistrusts. And with good reason. Herezah has her own
plans for Percheron, and one of the first things she needs to do is
eliminate Ana, the virginal odalisque of Boaz's harem. Herezah sees
her as a serious threat to her objectives and teams with the eunuch
Salmeo to bring about Ana's demise. Yet having caught the eye of
Boaz, Ana is protected.

All the while, the gods pull the strings on their puppets as they
mount their own battles against each other, and Percheron faces a
new threat. Lazar, the Spur of Percheron and the friend and
protector of Boaz, is secretly recovering from wounds everyone
thought had killed him. He is key to the continued existence of
Percheron but needs to recover quickly if he is to act in
time.

The characters who populate EMISSARY are all intriguing. Pez
continues to be the most impressive of the bunch, but Ana takes
center stage for this one, in all ways. Every man wants her for his
own animalistic desires, Herezah wants her humiliated and
ultimately dead, others seek to use her to gain power, and the gods
manipulate her for their own needs. All the while, Ana grieves for
the death of Lazar, weighed down by the guilt of his loss. Boaz
also shows signs of blossoming from immaturity to leader and
beginning to understand on a more personal level the deceptions and
machinations of those around him who seek only to further their own
agendas.

EMISSARY is not filled with daring feats or blood-pumping action,
but to say it is wholly devoid of action would be misleading. In
the overall arc of the story, EMISSARY is the chess game; it is the
manipulation of the pieces with careful precision that sets up an
endgame attack of fury that your opponent never saw coming.

With all of the positioning, posturing and planning laid out here,
Fiona McIntosh will no doubt have one explosive finale stamped onto
the pages of the final volume of this worthwhile and fascinating
series.

Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard on January 21, 2011

Emissary: Book Two of the Percheron Saga
by Fiona McIntosh

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Eos
  • ISBN-10: 0060899069
  • ISBN-13: 9780060899066