“This book feels like a worthy successor to some of the greats of fiction, including Malazan, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Wheel of Time.” – Andy Peloquin Amazon #1 bestseller of the Darkblade series.
“This reality is like the grimmest, darkest, thing in the world.” – Michael’s Mother.
Prince Barodane could not hold back the darkness. Not even in himself. He laid an innocent city in its grave and then died a hero.
In his absence, war whispers across the land.
Power-hungry highborn dispatch spies and assassins to the shadows as they maneuver for the throne, while an even greater threat rises in the South. Monsters and cultists flock to the banners of a mad prophet determined to control reality…and then shatter it.
Destiny stalks three to the brink of oblivion.
A dead prince that isn’t actually dead. Barodane buried his shameful past in a stupor of drugs, drink, and crime, and now, he’d rather watch the world fall apart than wear a crown again.
An orphan with hero’s blood who is forced to make a harrowing choice: betray her country or sacrifice her first love.
And a powerful seer who has no choice at all–her grandson must die.
If any of them fails to pay the price…
The cost will be the world’s complete annihilation.
Another day, another post of me screaming about my 2023 top ten reads. For me, this was the top debut I read throughout the entire year. A really strong voice. I’m not usually one for Grimdark, but this is Grimdark with a plot.
This fine fellow offered me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. I’m glad he did. This also stands as the first book to have a super cool looking cover when it was offered to me just for me to find out the cover was a PLACEHOLDER! And wow, look at this real cover!
This is a dark and gritty fantasy featuring some morally gray characters that might not actually be deserving of salvation. The cast itself, also features some children, as well as others, that brighten the whole thing up, which I enjoyed a lot. I have seen this compared to The First Law trilogy, (of which I’ve only read the Blade Itself) but I think other than tone, grittiness, and genre, they’re quite different. (I wasn’t ‘t a fan).
The magic system is awesome. It features magical folks called Awakened, who must summit a mountain and return powered. Most die, and the powers are random. Not to mention, they aren’t even guaranteed! Who the hell would try that! Well, some people do, and it works for them. Several different powers are displayed in the story, and it’s never really described if that’s all of them or if there is more. As these powers possibly come from the gods, it makes sense they are random and not fully explained.
As is the usual aim for these types of stories, the author has created a main character that is so awful that the entire world should despise him. Yet, the more and more you read, the more you like and feel for him. I’m impressed with how well done the character was built. His guilt and self-imposed suffering are what leads you to see him as redeemable.
Personally for me, there was a chunk in the center there that was a bit thick. I wondered if maybe a POV was cut out if it would have flowed better, however I couldn’t think of one I’d want to do without, so idk! Therefore, 5/5* for me. It was great.
“Belara straightened. “Peace is what happens when enemies fear each other enough to avoid the uncertain results of attempted conquest.””