Today is my stop on the Escapist Book Tours and I hope you are all in the mood for a grimdark story. Ardia is on the edge of civil war but even in times of peace and prosperity no one can escape the suffering. We will follow several characters as they are caught up in this violent world riddled with hate, power, betrayals, and an ever growing religion with its own set of prerogatives.
Fenrir is a former guardsman turned criminal. Despite his bad attitude, he is effective at taking orders and seeing that the job is done. Fenrir also has the ability to seperate his spirit from his body and search the surrounding area while his body continues on its way. This will be come more relevant the futher you get in the story. Think of Fenrir as a made man in the mob and when an assignment goes wrong, he is left to track back on foot to his superior to face judgement. Lets just say some may not like the path he will go down.
Merigold is a serving girl and local restaurant with a mysterious power. She is able to absorb essence from various people just by touching their skin and she needs this to sustain her energy. Merigold is also a woman looking for the simple things in life like love, family, and hope in the growing doom of civil war. Her world will be flipped upside down in the most unpleasant ways imaginable and she will be at the forfront of religious and political manuevering. Nothing is as it seems and the death toll in this book will rise with each chapter. We do follow other characters but these were the stars for me.
Please beware of picking up this book if you are a newcomer to grimdark fantasy. There is violence, blood, death, and assaults of every variety in this novel, so make sure you are in the right head space before starting. With all that being said, this book grew on me the more I read it. At first, many people including myself will be horrified when reading what takes place in the first several chapters, but it all is for a purpose. Civil war can and will bring out the absolute worst in people and that is put on full display. The writting style has a slow burn type of feel especially with the politics side of the novel. When you sprinkle in the dark parts to the story, bored is one thing I promise you will not be.
With two novellas and two sequels already released for this series, there is plenty more to offer in this dark world. If you don’t like to read dark fantasy then this is not the book for you. What I look for in my favorite stories is a growing plot where the layers of the onion continue to be peeled back to show something amazing. I can see the signs of this sort of thing coming down the pike. Looking forward to the next volume in the series.