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

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I'll be honest I quite enjoyed reading them all which is a great thing and there is usually one POV that I dislike or am not as interested in. This series takes place 120+ years after the events of the first, so while there is a nostalgia factor involved as characters or places from the first series are name-dropped, Gwynne does a really great job of setting this story apart from his last. This was an enjoyable, satisfying read that absolutely nails plot, character, world-building, and style. Gwynne drops a lot of clues throughout, to the point that I saw the twist coming, but the reasoning why certain events occur are definitely left for later books to explain.

I was kind of afraid going into this one but Gwynne proved me wrong and this was an excellent extension which has the same vibes but a slightly different tone in writing. While the threat from the original series may have been stopped, new dangers have arisen over the course of 100 years as various factions war for control of the entire realm. In showing the Land of the Faithful swallowing all of these countries, and the way the Ben Elim act when people refuse to cooperate with them, Gwynne really shows how the Ben Elim have been corrupted by their sense of power over the world. I was really surprised at a lot of the history that we were able to learn through the story without it feeling info-dumpy. Since I’m used to reading a lot of fantasy that is a normal thing for me in the first book of a new series.His prose is the glue that connected all the incredible plot, characterization, action sequences, and world-building to become one of the finest first books in a series I’ve ever read. I liked how his arc showed what everyday life was like in Dressel and how the new threat on the horizon was affecting the Ben-Elim, it showed their long-term goals also in terms of the human tribes and how they are trying to control all of them. A Time of Dread reminds me of why I became a fantasy enthusiast in the first place' – Robin Hobb, author of Assassin's Apprentice. The Kadoshim's leader, Asroth is frozen in metal within the Ben-Elim's stronghold but that doesn't mean his faithful aren't out there plotting, sacrificing innocents and boiling up some horrid actions that could equate to A Time of Dread.

of the characters are new and likewise, I think previous readers will enjoy it 10% more with prior knowledge and past experiences yet that's not to say new readers won't be engrossed and blown away too. A Time of Dread is a breathtaking beginning to what will surely be another utterly brilliant series by John Gwynne. This isn't the book where you put it down and go, 'wow, I can't believe someone wrote something that dark'. Gwynne hasn’t failed me and I don’t think he ever will at this rate; he’s truly the Bright Star of epic fantasy literature.I was never tempted to skip a section because it was from the point of view of a character I couldn't engage with. A Time of Dread is that rare sort of epic fantasy that not only appeals to fans of the genre, but also embraces new readers. This book strengthens the notion that he’s one of the greatest SFF authors out there when it comes down to writing lovable protagonists and despicable villains. Drem's character development was great, I enjoyed seeing another side of Drem and learn more about his past.

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