MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
58/50 – 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Links below to find the book & author:
📖 kindle ebook ARC
Received an Advanced Reader copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts are my own.
I ate up every word like it was a delicious medium rare steak dinner from a Michelin star restaurant.
A “story so far” is one of the smartest things an author can do to help their readers, Ryan Cahill does this for us, as all authors should! I just finished a re-read/listen of Of Blood and Fire and The Fall, so it wasn’t really necessary for me since it was already fresh in my mind… but I still read it anyways.
“Fate is fluid, it changes with every decision that is made. It is utterly out of our hands, and completely within our control at the same time.”
This thicc baby is JUICY and starts off full throttle putting you right into the thick of it! It’s action packed, intense, full of fury and rage, with perfectly timed humor. It has a gritty darkness to it, but above all else it has a message of hope, a perfect marriage of both dark and light fantasy that can only be described as GrimHeart. The world building is so intricate that you can picture everything you are reading in fine detail in your mind, and Ryan’s prose flows as smooth as Tennessee Whiskey.
“Stories were beautiful. They were words that painted a canvas in your mind. But death could not be beautiful.”
Multiple POV’s! Yes, that’s right! With everyone so spread out throughout the kingdom of Epheria it is very necessary and it is done very well! Calen and his friends battling the empire, Knights of Achyron facing bloodspawn and bloodmarked, Ella traveling with a deadly enemy right beside her, Rist in Al’Nasla training with the mages, plus more old and new characters. The care and detail that was put into developing each characters stories, including “side characters” was truly wonderful. We really get to know each one of them on a deeper level to understand what truly drives each and every one of them.
Not only do we see the Uraks even more, but if you read The Fall, we get to see more Bloodspawn and Bloodmarked as well… we also get some more truly disturbing creatures like Wyrms and Kerathlin. WARNING: If you have arachnophobia, there are a couple chapters that may bother you!
“We honour the dead, not by how we mourn their death, but how we live on despite it.”
As a Greek history and mythology lover, I noticed something that felt real familiar which was confirmed by the author. In Of Blood and Fire, The Proving was influenced by the Spartans Agöge, in Of Darkness and Light there is another Greek history inspired scene that is reminiscent of the battle of Thermopylae (for those unfamiliar with this, the movie 300 is based on that battle.) I appreciate those things because of my love for that history.
There are also several pop culture references throughout the book. Some will be a lot easier to spot than others, and some may seem like they are references but aren’t (I guessed wrong on a few that were not references at all) 😂. SO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THESE!
“It is considered 7 years bad sex to close your eyes while drinking whiskey. 10 years if you choke on it.”
This was an incredible sequel that that blew me away from the day I started reading this, to the day I finished. And my God, this finishes on such a high note that will punch you in the soul! What comes next is truly going to be mind blowing and I cannot wait to see what Ryan Cahill has in store!