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    Review of THE RETURN OF NIGHTFALL by Mickey Zuker Reighert (see her website)

    Daw Books, September 2004

    Once, Nightfall had been the most feared criminal and assassin in the world. But now he's reformed. A master of disguise, Nightfall now uses his original form--Sudian--and has sworn never to take up his Nightfall persona again. After all, what use is a demon when Nightfall serves as chancellor to the King, is engaged to a beautiful woman, and has nothing but council meetings and banquets to look forward to? But when King Edward is kidnapped while Nightfall is off on a Magehunt, Nightfall is the logical suspect. To escape his sentence of execution, he needs to bring Edward back alive--and soon. But Sudian isn't the best man to track criminals through the gutters of the world--and he's sworn never to become Nightfall again.

    Author Mickey Zuker Reighert establishes a fascinating world and magical system (some percentage of humans are born with a magical talent--a talent that Mages can capture, but only by torturing the talented to death). Putting Nightfall in a position where he must violate one of his most sacred promises--either by failing his King, or by failing himself, his fiancee, and his promise to the King by becoming Nightfall again--increases reader sympathy for Nightfall and increases our investment in a successful outcome--however unlikely that outcome appears. Nightfall's own natal talent, the ability to change his weight, doesn't sound particularly interesting, but Reighert uses it to the full.

    Reighert introduces several fascinating secondary characters, especially the pirate Celdurant (who deserves a story of his own) adding to the book's depth. This was the first book by Reighert I've read, but she's published a number and her professionalism shows through.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 12/18/04

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