It is with much joy and delight that I can share with you my review of The Blackest Heart, Book 2 in the Five Warrior Angels. I believe Mr. Durfee did a fantastic job with the Forgetting Moon by building his world, fleshing out his many characters, allowing us to be absorbed in the lore and religious secrecy, and made us a part of the very gory battle scenes throughout the story. Mr. Durfee has set the bar extremely high for himself when it came time to writing his sequel novel and I am pleased to say that he shattered my expectations and made the anticipation for the Book 3, The Lonesome Crown in 2021, the top of my TBR. Brian Lee Durfee has also confirmed on his YouTube channel that The Lonesome Crown will be the final volume for this series and that books 1 and 2 were intentionally made bigger to fit the story into a trilogy! I am beyond excited for this, but lets get into the sequel and why you will love it if you enjoyed the Forgetting Moon!
As with my previous sequel reviews, this will be non-spoiler but I will be touching on certain events in The Forgetting Moon. The Five Warrior angels have been revealed to the Five Isles, consisting of the: Gladiator, Assassin, Thief, Princess, and the Slave. I will not spoil for you who these Warrior Angels are, but there are some curveballs thrown here! With the revelations of the angels, so too are the five mythical weapons being found and the ancient prophecy being fulfilled, according to those telling the prophecy. Deception is running wild through the political circles and among the common folk and trust is in short supply these days. Returning to the kingdom of Gul Kana, Princess Jondralyn has suffered a devastating loss, discovering that not all prophecy is to be assumed, not all scripture to be trusted. At the same time, her younger sister, Tala, has found faith within herself while facing off against villains, who are using her for their devices. Hawkwood, the former Bloodwood Assassin, is captured. And the knight, Gault, betrayed by the Angel Prince, can only wonder of the fate of his daughter who has fallen into terrible hands. We also have Nale who must embark on the deadly quest with a mysterious gang before he is discovered by the Angel Prince.
The gauntlet has been thrown down and both sides are digging in the trenches for the much anticipated battle to come. Right from the first chapter I was as we are introduced to my new favorite character Crystalwood. Crystalwood is a newly appointed Bloodwood assassin located on the Isle of Sor Sevier. Learning about the hardships and sacrifices the Bloodwood assassins must endure while providing a little bit of their backstory was a brilliant addition to the series. The other shining start for this story was Gault, former knight of the Angel Prince, suffering and tortured in the prisons of his enemy. Despite being betrayed by his prince and left for dead, he still holds to his honor, family, and combat skills to deal with all obstacles thrown in his way. You also get the inclusion of one of the Bishops and his thoughts, desires, and influences were a nice touch to the overall political implications of the novel.
Each chapter bleeds into the next asking you the hard question of do you have the courage to see what happens next? More so than the Forgetting Moon, the revelations and shocking scenes in the Blackest Heart are ramped up exponentially and I can’t imagine what Mr. Durfee will have in story for the final volume. Coming in at just under 1,000 pages, there is plenty to enjoy in this world while begging Mr. Durfee to give you more. It still shocks me that this series is not more popular in the SFF community and they are missing out on a pillar of the epic fantasy genre in the making.
With the now trilogy set to be complete in 2021, Mr. Durfee has made all of his books going forward a must read for me and his fanbase will only continue to grow! Congratulations Brian, you are 2 for 2. Lets make it 3 for 3!