We have reached the penultimate book in the Moontide Quartet and it is a complete gamechanger. The third crusade has reached its breaking point with the warriors from Antiopia unveiling their magic users against the invasion. All the while, the Scytale of Corineus has fallen into the hands of the two most unlikely people as they escape destruction and loss. What you think you know so far will be pushed to the limit and the fate of the crusade will hang in the balance. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon events from the first two books.
Eleni Anborn, having escaped being imprisoned in her own body, has joined forces with the souldrinker Kazim to take down the renegade spymaster Gurvon Gyle. Kazim having taken the life of Ramita’s husband, Antonius Merios, looks to right the wrongs of his past by fighting for a righteous cause, even if he has to turn his back on his own people. Queen Cera, fresh off of her betrayal of Eleni, looks to take down her husband the usurper king and to restore power to her brother. Alan Mercer and Ramita Ankesharan have escaped the tower via boat with the Scytale of Corineus in tow. We learn that Ramita was chosen by Antonin Meiros to be his bride specifically because her family has the trait of birthing twins. Before Antonin dies, he discloses to Ramita the importance of her twin children, still unborn, and that they will save the world. It is up to these characters to discover the truth behind the Scytale and how histories are not always what they appear to be.
The plot is pushed along beautifully in Unholy War and I couldn’t have asked for a better entry to this amazing series. Every thread and building block will be explored, expanded, and in some chases destroyed by the revelations David Hair gets to divulge. Everything is included in this series regardless of the type of fantasy reader you are. Magic systems is at the forefront in this world and it keeps getting better with each book. Characters are easy to route for and they are complex creatures with more than meets the eye. Worldbuilding is some of the best you can come across in a fantasy series with religion, ethnicities, and traditions all thrown into the mixing bowl with extra spices! It is beyond me why this series is still a relative unknown in the fantasy genre. For a break down of the magic system, please refer to my review of Mage’s Blood.
You can tell that the inspiration for this series comes heavily from the crusades, but I also see influences from the Wheel of Time even though I have no confirmation of this. Lore and morally grey characters are the driver for this epic and you will not want to take your foot off of the gas. The last 100 pages will leaving you in a state of shock and have you begging for book 4. Don’t let this amazing series pass you by and join us Crusaders!