The Crosser’s Maze is a legendary device, a mysterious artifact of mind, magic, and metal. The archmage Abernathy believes that it can permanently prevent the malevolent Naradawk Skewn from escaping his otherworldly prison and bringing the world to ruin. But the archmagi are spending all of their wizardly might keeping Naradawk locked away. The burden of finding the Crosser’s Maze rests with Horn’s Company.
Dranko, Morningstar, and the rest of their ragtag band need only acquire the maze and bring it back to Abernathy. Nothing could be easier—except that no one knows exactly what the maze looks like. Or how big it is. Or precisely where it is. Or how to use it.
Worse, the Crosser’s Maze waits somewhere in the distant land of Kivia, on the far side of the Uncrossable Sea. The only means of getting there is a magical archway through which a hostile army is, even now, invading from the other side.
And, as if all of that weren’t dire enough, the evil Sharshun have sent an agent of their own to Kivia. She seeks the Crosser’s Maze for herself—and she has a month head start. If she finds it first, the world of Spira is doomed.
The Crosser’s Maze is Book Two of The Heroes of Spira.
I read The Crossers Maze in paperback format – thank you very much to Dorian Hart for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! My opinions are my own.
The Crosser’s Maze is the sequel to The Ventifact Collossus. It tells the story of another adventurous quest for Horn’s Company – this time to find something called the Crosser’s Maze. No one is entirely sure what this object is or how large it might be, but they uncover plenty of intriguing clues along their way.
Each character from book 1 is further developed in this book, allowing the reader to get to know them all better and become more invested in their fates.
We have the wonderful addition of a telepathic cat to the company, when Aravia’s childhood pet, Pewter, joins their quest. There are plenty of new adversaries for the group to conquer, imaginative locations and associated flora and fauna.
This character-driven adventure is full of excitement and peril as each of our heroes becomes more adept with their individual talents. Aravia was my favourite character in this story and her fledgling romance with Tor was very sweet to watch unfold.
Grey Wolf becomes a kind of mentor for Ernie, and Morningstar begins training her fellow Ellish Sisters to fight inside their dreams. Aravia’s prowess as a wizard becomes much improved the more she studies and Kibi is becoming accustomed to being around people and his confidence is growing the more time he spends with the group.
The main focus of the story is still to keep the evil Naradawk Skewn confined to his prison world. The Archmage Abernathy and his colleagues are using all of their powers to keep him imprisoned but the Crosser’s Maze must be obtained by Horn’s Company in order to help them. The pace of the novel is fairly steady as the quest continues with exciting fighting scenes and ingenious solutions to problems they encounter along the way. When they finally reach the Crosser’s Maze they have to confront their pasts and are disabused of any illusions they may have about what has happened so far, both in their lives and in their quest so far.
Much like in a role-playing game such as Dungeons and Dragons the group relies on each other’s particular strengths and must work together to defeat their foes. They are all beginning to value each other more highly, the more time they spend together, and characters such as Dranko and Morningstar, who used to annoy one another are becoming more tolerant and appreciative of each other.
If you enjoyed Book 1 of The Heroes of Spira series, The Ventifact Colossus, you will definitely also enjoy The Crosser’s Maze. I am looking forward to continuing this series with Book 3, The Greatwood Portal.
About the Author
Dorian Hart is the author of the Heroes of Spira epic fantasy series, which currently includes The Ventifact Colossus, The Crosser’s Maze, and The Greatwood Portal. He also wrote the interactive science fiction novella Choice of the Star Captain for Choice of Games.
In a bygone century, Dorian graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in creative writing. This led circuitously to a 20-year career as a video game designer, where he contributed to many award-winning titles including Thief, System Shock, System Shock 2, and BioShock.
Now he writes books in his Boston-area study, serves as the stay-at-home dad for his two daughters, and happily allows his wife to drag him off on various wilderness adventures.