By Keith Brady
Bald Mage Rating 9/10
Firstly I would like to thank Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for providing me with this book to read and review.
“The unjust will laugh and mock the righteous, they may outlive their dark deeds by a day or a year, but the righteous will find them and when they do, the unjust will tremble”
What a great start to a new series, I’ll begin with a brief outline of the story which takes place 130 plus years after the events of Wrath which is the last book in the Faithful and the Fallen series.
Our journey begins with two rival clans at war in the lands of the faithful. The only problem being the Ben Elim, who are an immortal race dedicated to ridding the realm of mortals from the Kadoshim who are demons made flesh from the otherworld. For the Ben Elim have decreed that there cannot be any wars fought in the lands of the faithful, as the only war is with the Kadoshim and their followers. The Kadoshim are not the only worry for the Ben Elim though, there is a tension rising and it threatens to boil over, not only within Drassil and the Bem Elim but the whole of the lands of the faithful themselves.
This brings me nicely on to Bleda, the first of four main characters that this book centres around. Bleda is the youngest son of Erdene the leader of the sirak clan. As a punishment for disobeying the Ben Elim’s law Erdene must give up Bleda as a ward to the Ben Elim and go back with them to Drassil the capital of the Ben Elim. As you would expect Bleda is extremely reluctant and defiant but as time passes his opinions start to change.
Now we have Drem a trapper’s son in the north of the desolation. Drem and his father Olin live on the edge of a small northern town called Kergard. Drem is very much on a voyage of discovery throughout the story and apart from constantly trying to survive it seems, he has many questions as to who he is and where his from not to mention his father.
Next we have Riv the youngest daughter of Dalmae. Riv lives and trains as a fledgling White Wing in Drassil. Riv is a very angry young girl but talented in the ways of fighting, however Riv’s temper gets her into trouble more often than not.
Last but not least we come to Sig a giant. Sig is a weapons master of the formidable Order of the Bright Star a fighting unit dedicated to hunting down and destroying all Kadoshim. Sig is a very noble and stern character and one of my favourites.
There are of course many more great characters throughout A Time of Dread but the four I’ve just mentioned are the main focus. I will say now that I loved all the main characters, which for me says a lot about the writing style and character creation. Normally in a story there are usually one or two characters that I can’t stand for one reason of another and soon get bored with not caring weather they live or die. But in A Time of Dread I soon found I started to care about them all and found their story lines interesting and fun to read not once getting bored. As I moved on through from character to character I couldn’t wait to see what was coming next for each of them.
Another nice thing about this book is like me you needn’t have read the previous series of books to enjoy and follow this one. You do get glimpses of the past history as you navigate your way through the book.
A Time of Dread gave me the feeling of the war of Angels upon reading it, with Gabriel and Lucifer in their constant war lock together in hatred. In A Time of Dread we have Israfil (the lord protector)of the faithful and Asroth (lord of the Kadoshim).
My only criticism and what separates this from a 5 star book to a 4 star book is the absence of the Kadoshim’s point of view. I would have liked more from them in the form of a story line or two. We do see them but we don’t get to know them. I wanted to find out what drives them on to the point of wanting to destroy or enslave the world they now inhabit sadly this didn’t happen.
That said this was a fantastic start and a good foundation for an exciting new series of which I’m looking forward to continuing. And I have the whole of the Faithful and the fallen series to read as well to find out how this all began. I feel like a child that’s about to open his fist Christmas present “lucky me”.