By Michael Scott and Colette Freedman
TOR, $24.99, 352 pages

Two thousand years ago, the Demonkind were driven out of England and thirteen sacred objects came into existence. These 13 Hallows contain immeasurable power and are each protected by a sacred Keeper. Passing the Hallows from parent to child for centuries, the Keepers have only one rule: never bring the Hallows together. Now, someone is systematically hunting and butchering Keepers in the hopes of doing exactly that. Judith Walker is the Keeper of Dyrnwyn, the Broken Sword, one of the 13 Hallows of England. Seconds before she dies from the gruesome injuries inflicted upon her by agents of the Dark Man and his vicious wife Vyvienne, Judith begs Sarah to take Dyrnwyn to her nephew, Owen. What follows is a tale of blood, corruption, and horror.

Although The Thirteen Hallows takes the time to develop some unique characters and has a reasonably original plot, it fails to create the suspense required to keep the reader’s interest. The continual repetition of plot elements makes the story overly predictable, and while the diversity of characters, and profusion of sex and violence provide a welcome distraction from the sluggish unraveling of the Keeper’s secret, they rarely add any richness to the overall story.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Goss