First of all, a huge thank you to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for allowing me to read this in advance. It was brilliant. Exactly the kind of fantasy I live for.
Now before I get started, I must confess that this is my first John Gwynne novel. His debut, Malice , was next on my pile to read when I was approved for this beauty so I thought I’d start here. Although I don’t regret it, I do feel like I have missed a lot of cool references to characters of his first series, The Faithful and the Fallen. For that reason, I found the first half of the book fairly slow, as new characters are introduced, the world explained and tales of the original heroes are told. There are a lot of talks and hints about previous characters which I am sure long time readers of Gwynne will love, I just wanted to get started with the new ones. Saying that, the slow start was necessary to making this book (and presumably, series) readable for those who are new to Gwynne and this world, me included. Now I don’t mind a slow pace so this did not put me off reading, but I wasn’t as glued to the story as I thought I might have been after the amazing reviews Gwynne already has for his work. However, I did just read the last 50% in one sitting this morning, so I can say with some certainty that this changes. Continue reading