Part 2 of my Chronicles-review. Spoilerful as ever
A few weeks after the end of book 1, Andrej and Frederic manage to track down Abu Duns ship. Andrej climbs on board an confronts the giant like pirate, who at first breaks his back. But fortunately Andrej is an Immortal, and after he has healed himself, he is able to overcome the Nubian. He doesn´t kill Abu Dun, but rather makes a deal with him: For his people´s freedom Andrej will teach the pirate the secrets of immortality (which he doesn´t know).
But their deal blows since two other ships – one of them belonging to Inquisitor Domenicus, the other one belonging to the devillish dragon warrior – attack them. Everyone dies in the attack, except Andrej, Frederic and Abu Dun. They travel on land and soon get caught by the dragon warrior – who is Vlad Dracul – and his henchmen. They are taken to Dracul´s castle, where he offers Andrej the same deal Abu Dun has offered: His friends´ freedom for the secrets of immortality. Domenicus and the two remaining golden knighs Kerber and Bieler also arrive, as well as Maria, Andrejs love interest and sister of Domenicus.
With the help of Dracul´s servent Vlad, Andrej and Abu Dun are lead to Dracul´s bedchamber in order to kill him, but he has foreseen this and Andrej must fight the immortal Kerber. With sheer luck he overpowers him and drinks his blood, which makes him stronger, but also leaves something dark in his soul – the vampyre.
But it turns out that everything was planned and that Vlad is actually the real Vlad Tepes/ Dracul. Andrej gets caught, while Abu Dun escapes. Dracul then betrays his associates Domenicus and Bieler, gets the latter one killed and locks the inquisitor into a tiny cage. But then he sets Andrej free, because Frederic has made a deal with this devil in human form.
Andrej rides away, and then meets Abu Dun, who is with the turkish army. The sultan wants Dracul dead, and Andrej promisses to do that. Together with Abu Dun he returns to the castle, sneaks into it, frees Maria and the dying Domicus, and then confronts Dracul, who is torturing Frederic. Dracul is about to be handed over to the sultan, but the revengeful Frederic attacks him and sucks his blood, and in the progress gets killed by an turkish soldier. The sultan then leaves Andrej and Abu Dun with the corpse.
But due to his immortality, Frederic resurrects, but it turns out it´s not Frederic any more, but Vlad Dracul.
The second volume is not as good as the first one, due to some minor mistakes and illogical situations, but it is still one of the best books in the series. The real chronicles begin with this story, as Abu Dun and Andrej become friends, and Andrej gets his dark part of the soul. His nemesis, Dracul/ Frederic/… is established, and it´s the last time Maria appears in the series (or is it?!)
The fight scenes are great, and the dialogue too. If it weren´t for these minor mistakes (Frederic witnessing the murder of Malthus, Andrej having been on several ships before, etc) it would be as good as “At the Abyss”.