Quicksilver Court is an interesting middle installment; there’s a lot of set up for future things and not much is resolved. What’s interesting is that a key question from the first book is answered about halfway through; usually you have to wait until book 3 for that. What happens here though is that that reveal sets up both a good bit of probably character development (or at least soul searching) as well as the final major plot conflict. Ryx, Severin, and the rest of the Rookey team are still on a mission to fix the impending demon problem while trying not to get too distracted by a variety of personal problems, some magical, some romantic, some backstory, etc. Most of the story here is framed around one big gathering of important government people and all matter of problems big and small, political and magical.
Because there’s really only the one main plot thread, the gathering, there’s less attention to the demon problem although that’s aways on people’s minds. Especially with the events revealed on the last page or so, those last moments that relate to what’s going on demon-wise feel almost like a throwaway. That wasn’t my favorite bit either; if you’re going to set up a cliff-hanger, at least make it more interesting.
What was interesting though is that the demons that do show up really reminded me of the Endless (from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman franchise). The Deaths are relatively similar, although the one in Ryx’s world is a touch more mysterious and less open; Nightmare and Madness have really strong Desire and Delirium vibes, and there’s also a Dream sort of stand in, but that one might be venturing into spoiler territory. The big philosophical question running through the whole story has to do with past misdeeds when you may or may not have been the same person or entity as you are now, and the role of memory together are also similar to some of the themes in the original Sandman series. The comparison is far from perfect, but it’s close enough I have to wonder if there may have been some intent.
The final book in the trilogy was recently released and I’ll certainly get to it soon; for now, I have to say that as I was first reading this, the adventure and dialogue wasn’t as much fun, but upon reflection, it’s actually a good bit more interesting than the first one, so I’m hoping some of the fun comes back for book 3.