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A Time of Dread by John Gwynne: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: A Time of Dread

Author: John Gwynne

Publisher: Macmillan

Format: Print, ebook, audiobook

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 2018

Star Rating: 5/5

John Gwynne’s four-book series ‘The Faithful and the Fallen’ has a follow-on series which begins with A Time of Dread.

A century or so after Asroth was defeated and trapped in a statue, the Kadoshim are rising again. This race of demons threatens peace and intends to free Asroth.

Drem, living in the Desolation with his father Olin, knows nothing of his father’s past. The pair earn a precarious living in the frozen north trapping and selling furs.

Sig, a giantess, lives at Dun Seren. She and the other members of the Order of the Bright Star are vigilant for any sign of the Kadoshim.

Bleda has been a ward at Drassil with the Ben-Elim since the battle that killed both his siblings.

Essentially a prisoner to ensure his mother’s cooperation, Bleda has learned to be wary of his hosts.

Riv is entirely focused on becoming the best soldier she can be, trying to control her temper and earn the same respect as her mother and sister at Drassil.

When Drem’s father finds a mysterious stone in the far north, he brings it back home and fashions it into a sword. He intends to use this unique weapon to kill all Kadoshim.

At Dun Seren and Drassil, strange events and a mysterious series of beacons herald the rise of the Kadoshim.

A Time of Dread reminded me a great deal of the earlier series. Sig is the long-lived character that unites the two and provides a perspective on earlier events in the first series of books.

Drem’s mother and father were part of the Order of the Bright Star. As Drem discovers more of his heritage he becomes determined to reclaim it at Dun Seren.

I liked Drem, who is the hero of the book, very much. His life was hard but he was tough and determined. Discovering so much unexpectedly about himself and his parents made him vulnerable and very sympathetic.

Riv was determined and impressive as a warrior. I liked her very much and was intrigued to see what challenges lay ahead.

I felt very sorry for Bleda, who has spent much of his childhood as a ward at Drassil and is often distanced from his family and heritage. His political betrothal to his fellow ward Jin introduced more conflict into his young life.

A Time of Dread was epic fantasy with elements of horror as the Kadoshim are demons and the Ben-Elim of Drassil who fight them also have a dark history. This first book established lots of relatable characters and extended the established world of the earlier series, while setting up the events that will occupy the remaining books in this new series.

I loved every moment of this book and would highly recommend it to fans of sword and sorcery.

Thank you for reading my review.

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John C Adams Reviews A Time of Dread

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