ARC Review: The Exile (The Bound and the Broken #2.5) by Ryan Cahill

MY ⭐️ RATING: 5/5

Format: Advanced Reader Copy

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

DO NOT HESITATE. DO NOT CONTEMPLATE MERCY.
The Lorian Empire took everything from Dayne. His family. His home. His people. He will carve a bloody path through Epheria. He will have his vengeance, by blade and by blood. This is his story. The story of The Exile.
Each part of The Exile is set at a different point in Dayne's life before his appearance in Of Darkness and Light, each exploring pivotal moments that crafted who he is. Dayne's exploits pre ODAL could take up an entire trilogy in and of themselves, but by making this a novella I am able to explore the truly big moments for him, providing you with some extra lore, without eating into the time of the main series.
Note: this is a companion novella, not a standalone novella. Previous books in the series should be read first.

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MY REVIEW

I received an advanced reader copy, provided by the author for an honest review.
This did not impact my rating in any way.

I called ODAL (Of Darkness and Light) “A soul-punching masterpiece.” So how do you top something that I considered a masterpiece? You write The Exile, that’s what you do. This is an intoxicating story that will be remembered for ages, and I’m absolutely floored by its epicness. It just seems that Cahill has gold flowing through his fingertips because of the way he’s constantly dropping novels that just keep getting better each time, and he continues that with an amazing tale of Dayne’s life before we meet him in ODAL. Dayne is on a path of vengeance, leaving a trail of wrath and carnage in his wake to get back to his family. But it’s much much more than that, there’s sorrow, grief and vulnerability, and it gives us a deeper history of what else is going on within the realm of Ephiria.

“He had not found peace in a single death, not even the slightest of joys. Though any man who took joy in killing was a man worth killing.”

Ryan continues to deliver beautiful prose and amazing world building, I also left several quotes down below that I didn’t want to remove, they deserve to be seen. Ryan also continues his deceptive ways of dropping hints here and there for past and present situations, so keep your eyes peeled! The fight/battle scenes are truly insane. Dayne’s character development is such a fascinating ride, as we get to see him from where he starts to the man we meet in ODAL. There are several familiar faces that pop up as well as many new ones. His dynamic with one of the characters is probably my favorite of all the characters throughout the series so far. They just have a great kinship with each other and it makes their time together so much fun to read.

“I would say that it is better to die for the ones you love and for what you believe than it is to live knowing that you could have done something but didn’t. I would say that you have my sword. I would say that you have my blood. And if you can bring the empire to its knees, then I will gladly give you my life as well.”

It’s bloody, beautiful and you’re going to find yourself giggling more than once. This is my favorite read of the year so far… and I have read some pretty great books already, and more to come, including book 3 of this series. This has literally everything you could ask for and it was delivered on a Diamond encrusted plate, it’s that good! This is about as much as I can say before I start throwing out spoilers. So I’m ending this right here and reiterating that this is a story that will be remembered for ages.

“War is no different to peace. It is simply more honest. Do not hesitate, do not contemplate mercy. Remember everything I have taught you.”

“You should have,” Dayne replied, rising to his full height. “But now, I am the harbinger of your death. I have come to cast judgement over you, just as you did that day.”

“We will always want for time, Dayne. That is the human way. We would die waiting for the perfect moment that will never come. There is only now.

“For a parent is to a child what sun is to a flower.”

“You ordered the deaths of thousands of Valtaran citizens. You stood and watched as they were burned alive, their lungs filling with smoke, their skin melting from their bones. You do not hold the right to draw breath.”

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