Her fate was to hold the world together. His destiny was to tear it apart.My Thoughts: I wasn't in love with the first book in this series but I thought it had a lot of really interesting concepts and there was something about it that wormed its way into my brain. I pretty much knew that I was going to be reading this book at some point but I still wasn't entirely sold on whether or not I'd like it. While I did end up liking the overall flow of this book a lot more than I liked book 1, I still thought some of the action was a little choppy (as in, things would sometimes happen and I'd have to go back and reread the last few sections because I felt like I missed something). However, the characters and the world more than made up for it.
As a child, Durga was chosen by the goddess to save humanity from sterility and extinction. Soon she'll be eighteen and have to serve as a chalice - to provide natural-born heirs to kings and more souls for the universe. Khai, the scion of Luxor, has different ideas about the new world order. When he falls hard for Durga, he isn't afraid to show it. Khai offers Durga the love she thought she could never have - but accepting him will destroy everything she's been commanded by the goddess to build.
Meanwhile, Jake Ardri now heads an emerging city-state and desperately wants Char Meadowlark to be his queen. But as king of his city, Jake is commanded by the goddess to provide natural-born heirs. Can Char share Jake with a beautiful chalice, trained to take Jake to the heights of sexual ecstasy?
In book 1, Durga was the creepy mouthpiece for the Goddess. Frankly, she gave me the willies. Fast forward 8 years and she's grown up. She's still got a little bit of a creep factor but the idea that she's had to give up everything for her Goddess is sad and made me feel for her. Her revelation that she'll have to basically live her life alone because she can't afford to let her emotions get tangled up as she and the chalices set about repopulating the planet... that was the moment she came alive for me. To have someone who could love her unconditionally standing before her and for her to know that she was going to have to walk away was hard to read.
Meanwhile, Char and Jake are dealing with their own challenges. Jake's working on building his city into something worthwhile. Char is jealous that he has to have children with someone who isn't her. The world is screwed up and dangerous and their enemies are waiting in the wings to pounce and take what they've worked so hard for from them.
It really is a fascinating world that L.K. Rigel has created. Deadly at the best of times, sucking the hope out of them at the worst, this damaged world is slowly (very, very slowly) righting itself. The scope of the story feels big - years pass from the beginning of the story to the end - and there's some interesting setup for book 3 in the epilogue.
Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: Space Junque
More books by LK Rigel
Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The Show Me the Free Challenge
Spiderwork was a free Kindle download I picked up 07/10/11.