Tho I’m a ginormous fangirl of both this series and its creative team, I must say that I’m glad that this installment was passed over for the Hugo nomination (for purely temporal reasons) because things definitely start to fuzz out of cohesion here.
So! Our intrepid heroes were originally, literally sucked into the twenty-sided world of Die back when they were bored teenagers more or less interested in playing a fantasy role-playing game run by their friend Sol. When they managed to emerge, somewhat the worse for wear, they found that years had passed and that Sol hadn’t returned with them. Almost three decades later, having grown older and wiser and sadder, they get pulled back in again by the lure of rescuing Sol. Trouble is, in order to leave Die for the real world once more, they all have to agree to go. They don’t.
Ash and Izzy, the Dictator and Godbinder respectively, want to stay in order to fix what they’ve done and to make Die a better world for its people. GriefKnight Matt and Neo Angela want to get the hell home. Chuck the Fool doesn’t really care either way, while Sol — or what’s left of him — is Ash and Izzy’s prisoner. While Ash and Izzy struggle to retain control of the land of Angria, Angela, Chuck and Matt go questing for fae gold in an attempt to gain enough power to stealth into Angria and, um, well, they don’t really have a plan (in a realistic reflection of many, many role-playing games.) Mostly, they’re trying to figure out how Die and the Fallen managed to exist before and separately from the game Sol started and what the implications of this are for the future.