A Time Of Dread by John Gwynne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is my first time reading John Gwynne and I seriously debated whether or not to read the original trilogy before picking up a tale hundreds of years after the events there. It was a close thing, but I decided the strength of his writing would either wow me or it wouldn't.
As a matter of fact, his characterizations while not too varied or unusual for the fantasy genre at all, are still rather well done for all that. Time and effort are taken, drawing out familial relations and emotional impacts and a broad setup for the oncoming war, getting to know all the players through the individuals within it. I've seen much worse epic fantasies, but I will admit he does improve on a lot of the classics. For example, the farmboy with a destiny trope was given a lot of time and care and it was quite believable and impactful DESPITE being one of the oldest tropes in the book. The rest of the character threads were also quite entertaining.
I was tantalized by the past, of course, and enjoyed seeing what kind of races filled this book, from angels and demons cohabitating the land, giants, and even mounted bears. The action is plentiful, dark, and bloody.
He pulls off the trick with gray areas quite nicely. It's not so clear who are the good guys and who are the bad. For that, I think I enjoyed the book even more. I wouldn't quite call this grimdark, but it's definitely a series I'll consider continuing!
View all my reviews