Posted 20 hours ago

A Time of Dread: 1 (Of Blood & Bone)

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John Gwynne’s books are starting to get a lot more popular around the SFF community and I couldn’t be happier. However, the four characters in A Time of Dread are each compelling in their own way, and the transitions between one POV to another is fluid and well-timed. Let it be known that Gwynne is in fact the only author on my list to earn the perfect streak of top quality achievements from me.

Fantasy can be an escape from reality, but some stories carry the reader to an enhanced reality, a place where the world seems to have brighter colors and sharper contrasts.Even with my high expectations, A Time of Dread still managed to blow me away; it’s truly a monumental start to a series that’s even better than his debut, Malice, by far. Ultimately, it might have been my fault for still being so attached to the characters in the first series. The reader knows there is more to the journey, but it feels as if the story stops and makes camp for the night rather than running off a cliff's edge in the dark.

In the Lord of the Rings Tolkien had a huge edifice of history/world-building worked out, and the story on the page was the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. The Ben Elim have gone so far as to even lie and say that Corban, their Bright Star, the rallying force that brought many countries and people together to take down the Dread Kadoshim, had little to no part in actually taking them down. Gwynne made an excellent job giving enough background and history to make you understand the context and the world of his new story.I feel like there are very few gaps in my knowledge about what happened to the individual characters we followed in the first series after they separated from the Ben Elim – that was something I really appreciated.

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