4.5/5 Stars. A realistic, gritty, adult fantasy that packs a punch
I read and enjoyed ‘Fire Within’ Book 1 of a Prelude of Light. It was a grimy, realistically gritty fantasy and I enjoyed the writing style and the storytelling very much. I did at times struggle with investing in the characters in book one, the story was sufficiently muddied and dirtied (purposely) that I wasn’t sure who I should like or not, so I was interested to see how book two progressed both the story and character arcs.
Well, I am happy to report that in his second offering, Morten W Simonsen more than met the challenge. Book Two gave me everything I was yearning for in book one. An enlarged world outside of the city of Whitegarde, characters that suddenly I was engaged in. Each jump to a character arc I looked forward to, just to see where the story was taking me. The cast was narrowed to three main protagonists which I think helped in this regard.
The story itself was evocative and intrigued from the opening scene. I will give no spoilers but it sunk its hook into me and what happened slowly manifested in all its glory later in the story. In book one we got a taste of an Olso, the werewolf’esc monsters that are threatening humanity and what they were capable of but that was just one and a friendly(ish) one at that. Book Two you get to see them en masse and they are so skilful written that I got a real sense of their menace and power.
Also, about 72% in (according to kindle) I got served another massive hook I didn’t know I was craving. A supernatural twist, a hint of godly interference, a sniff of other powers at play. I lapped it up.
If I was to be critical and this is a review so I will, there were some grammatical errors, not many but another run through by the author would clean things up I’m sure and then this would be a solid 5 stars for me. Also, whilst there was a twist in the tale I wasn’t expecting, the final chapter was a little flat, I was hoping for one more….maybe with some blood in it or gore…..
That said, a book is always about the tale it tells, the journey it takes you on and this one ticked both of those things for me. I will definitely be reading book 3 when it is out. I need to know more, I need to know what happens and if you like hard-edged fantasy that doesn’t pull its punches then you do too.
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