On the surface, Jacob seems to have what every man in the world must want: two godessy-glorious wives that are just as much in love with him as they are with each other. He has power, an infamous reputation, dragons, tons of followers.
And tons of enemies, who want him removed from his job…and all of his shadowy followers removed from the world.
I probably will never get enough of Phipps’ delivery of darkish fantasy served with likeable antiheroes and a side of (usually) self-deprecating humor. Even in the darkest circumstances, Phipps’ heroes have the talent of not taking themselves—or their world—too seriously. Which really makes for fun fantasy. Some of the elements Phipps incorporates in this book are quite dark, and might weigh another book down. But Phipps doesn’t let that happen; just when you think things are going to end tragically for all parties involved, the old Phipps humor comes out, and everything is made right again.
I think this book is perhaps Phipps’ best work to date. It’s hard to say that, as I really enjoyed Lucifer’s Star and Cthulhu Armageddon. But there’s something about Jacob Riverson that makes me really love him. He is a great Dark Lord—just an uncommonly noble and heroic one ready to risk everything to squash his enemies, the Nine Heroes, and protect his fellow Shadowkind. The book really reminds me of the cable TV series Penny Dreadful, where the dark lord is the champion of all the broken and misunderstood creatures of shadow. And, like Penny Dreadful, the good guys in Wraith Lord are far from good.
Will evil prevail in the end?
The reader can only hope.