The Wrathbringer by Christopher Brenning (The Hellborn King Saga #2)

I recieved an ARC from the author in exchange for a honest review. After reading the final page of the Hellborn King last year, I have been waiting on pins a needles for the sequel. That brutal ending left me in shaking for several days with no resolution in sight. I was floored when the ARC made its way into my inbox and let me tell you something, THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE A SEQUEL!!! There was not a dull moment nor a chapter I didn’t enjoy. The story is just as grim as the debut with many more shocks than I thought possible. You will not want to miss this sequel! This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon events from book 1.

Einarr has left the battle front as a commander next to Damien and returned to his home village for another calling. Still haunted by the deeds of his past, the gods have other plans for him. Einarr will undergo a transformation of the mind and soul as he sets on a path only the gods know of. Titan is troubled by the failure he has endured and turns to a life of hiding and thievery. It is not long until he captured and convicted to be put to death, but his skills will be too important to just turn away. Titan is still a brute but I came to love his pride with every page I read.

Lucetta is still in the company of the woman in black leading her on a mission no one can expect. Lucetta will travel down a dark path I did nojt see coming. Finally we have Madelyn and her story just ripped my heart out. Captured and tortured (worse than that I’m afraid) as she has been turned into a shell of herself. Her freedom is bargained for and she is returned to her home forces. She wishes that she did die in the cage she was left. But Madelyn is the Eveldanyr and her destiny has only just begun.

There are so many other characters to touch on but I would be rambling on for several long hours. While The Hellborn King was mostly about the war and blood, Wrathbringer takes the worldbuilding and charcter arcs to the next stage. We still don’t know the entire picture but the characters are all moving into the desired places. If you are worried about a sophomore slump, I am please to say that The Wrathbringer exceeds the previous novel tenfold. The author will take his time for certain POV’s an then drop a huge boulder on your head when you least expect it. The writing is as smooth as book 1 with more depth to the words and a big amount of foreshadowing, or at least I hope to find out.

This is one of the best sequels I have ever read and will easily be in my top ten books of 2022. Not all readers will enjoy Grimdark fantasy but the character development and emotional pain will stay with you for many days. I can’t say enough about this book and all I can say is, when is the sequl coming out!!!!

Cheers!

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