I don’t suppose that it will be hard to guess the titles of the two books I read this last week! After all, in the previous Reading Roundup I gave you all my verdict on John Gwynne’s A Time of Dread, part #01 of his Of Blood and Bone series. So, yes, here are my thoughts on parts two and three.
First of all, let’s check out the blurb for A Time of Blood, part #02 Of Blood and Bone:
Defy the darkness. Defend the light.
At the battle of Starstone Lake, Drem and his friends witnessed horrors they’ll never forget. They saw magic warping men into beasts and a demon rise from the dead, creating something new and terrifying. So they flee to warn the Order of the Bright Star. But the demons’ high priestess, Fritha, is determined to hunt them down.
Concealed in Forn Forest, Riv struggles to understand her half-breed heritage. She represents the warrior angels’ biggest secret, one whichcould break their society. So when she’s found by the Ben-Elim’s high captain, he goes in for the kill.
Meanwhile, demonic forces are gathering a mighty war-host, to crush their enemies and rule the world of man. All while the Ben-Elim are fractured and facing betrayal. Like heroes of old, Riv, Drem and the Bright Star’s warriors must battle to save their land. But can the light triumph when the dark is rising?
Before I add my review, as posted on Goodreads, I will give you my usual apology for the poor quality of what is to follow. I am still suffering with short-term memory loss from my stroke and that means that the details of books fade very rapidly after I have finished reading. Please refer to other reviewing websites or use Goodreads as I do for better responses to these books as I really am not capable of properly doing them the justice that authors deserve.
Anyway, here it is:
This certainly didn’t suffer from the often experienced “middle book in a trilogy” syndrome! The first ended with various revelations and I was lucky that I was able to read the whole series at one go, without having to wait for each book to be published.
Some of the nit-picky flaws that I noted for A Time of Dread were toned down a little this time (repetitive descriptions), which was very pleasing. The whole book was one amazing, fast paced ride, moving from character to character as they moved around the chess board of the plot. I found myself turning to the map frequently as I attempted to keep everything straight in my mind
The book as a whole was great, with enough flashes of light to brighten up the dark events and themes, setting the reader up nicely for the final part…
So then I came to the final part of the trilogy: A Time of Courage. Let us first see the blurb:
Battle the dark
Reclaim the world
The Demon-King of the Otherworld is finally free. And armed with mighty new starstone weapons, Asroth prepares to lead his demonic war-host south. With the help of his dark bride Fritha, he plans to crush the warrior-angels and their allies.
In the shadows of Forn Forest, Riv and the surviving Ben-Elim hold a war council. After the catastrophic events at Drassil, they are desperate to unite those who would stand against Asroth and his army. So they fly west, to join the Order of the Bright Star. But Drem and the Order are besieged by a demon horde – and their fragile defence may soon shatter.
Across the Banished Lands armies are heading south, to settle ancient grudges and decide the fate of humanity. Drem, Riv and the Bright Star’s warriors will need every ounce of their courage if they are to join the final battle. But will their combined forces be enough to face down their greatest foe?
OK, so this sounds interesting…
Interesting! It was amazing, brilliant, gripping and… and…
I must admit that I felt even more exhausted than usual when I came to the finish – here’s why:
One of the first things that I did on finishing this book, well after trying to breathe again, was look up the publishing date. I was gutted to realise that it was only published this year…
…this means that I will have to WAIT until John Gwynne can write another book…
…flaps her wings in rage…
…(skin or feathers!!!)
I have given the book five stars because of the best written (in my fairly wide reading experience of almost 60 years) fictional battle scenes. The incredible build up and pace, the sheer invention, the surprises and heart-almost-stopping shocks, the sadness and joy, the retribution and disasters – all there in this book.
If you want to be transported outside of yourself and your concerns and worries, read John Gwynne. If you want to blot out your own personal disasters, read John Gwynne. If you want excitement, great characters, fantastic storylines, intriguing world building and satisfying reading, then John Gwynne is your writer.
P.S. When is the next book due?