The Manticore’s secret is along the same lines as the Simoqin Prophecies (which it would have to be considering it is a sequel). The plot is a little like the Wheel of Time - the antihero who though immensely powerful is in danger of being corrupted by that same power. Like the last book though, the emphasis is just as much on puns, word play and on the absurdity of situations as it is in telling a story. In this one though, a whole new set of ‘behind the scenes’ characters are revealed - the shape shifters and the Gods.
Stephen King mentions in one of his Dark Tower books that fate or God is introduced by an author when he has written himself into a corner and doesn’t know how to continue (The hero lies on the railroad track, tied down to the rails, his arms and legs broken and there is no one within miles to help - enter God :)). Anyway, Gods in this story aren’t introduced for such reasons - they too are an integral part of the story. Lets just say that the choice of ‘Gameworld Trilogy’ for the name of the series becomes clearer.
Right, to the plot - which I’ll try not to reveal too much of. If you’ve not read the first part of the series, do NOT read any further.
Kirin, now comfortable (if not exactly happy) in his shoes as the Lord of all the dark forces is trying his best to delay outright war. Everyone else is anxious for it to occur and seizes every opportunity they can.
Maya and Asvin too are happy, if a little bored. This state of affairs is spoilt by the arrival of three Ravians who then proceed to callously destroy every other species in the book.
It falls to the three (Kirin, Maya and Asvin, not the Ravians) to stop the three (Ravians, not Kirin, Maya and Asvin). I could just have used latter/former but then this wouldn't have been half as much fun :).
I'd recommend the book for its humour and its puns. As a fantasy novel, its....ok I guess. Not in the league of a 'Lord of the Rings' but then I don't think that was ever the author's aim.