Published: August 7, 2018
Series: Empires of Dust #2
Pages: 480 (Paperback)
My Rating: 3.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Marith has been a sellsword, a prince, a murderer, a demon, and dead. But something keeps bringing him back to life, and now there is nothing stopping him from taking back the throne that is rightfully his.
Thalia, the former high priestess, remains Marith’s only tenuous grasp to whatever goodness he has left. His left hand and his last source of light, Thalia still believes that the power that lies within him can be used for better ends. But as more forces gather beneath Marith’s banner, she can feel her influence slipping.
Read the second book in this “gritty and glorious!” (Miles Cameron) epic fantasy series reminiscent of Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence where the exiled son of a king fights to reclaim his throne no matter the cost.
The Court of Broken
Knives was quite the groundbreaking book last year and received a wide
range of reviews. Some people loved everything about it, finding it to be the
quintessential grimdark book while others found the writing style to be jarring
and the story to be far too dark for their tastes. I personally found it to be
fresh, enjoyed the style because it felt like a first person play-by-play of
the action, and generally found it to be an engaging (and yes, dark) read. That
being said, I was optimistic about the sequel especially with such a cool and
The Tower of Living
and Dying is quite a lengthy book, all the better to contain pages and
pages of grisly battle scenes followed by pages of Marith being in a hatha
induced stupor, followed by bouts of craziness and eye-itching. I can’t quite
decide if he’s evil or just terribly weak-minded and trying to live up to some
fore ordained destiny that requires these deeds. I’m leaning towards the latter
with a side of poor choice in advisors and drug addiction. I find myself
wishing more fervently than ever that Thalia would drive a sword through his
heart or burn him to ashes with her power and take over the kingdom, rising to
become the Queen of Living and Dying or some such. It would be GLORIOUS TO
The overall plot is pretty awesome – Marith has taken his
crown and intends to begin subjugating the neighboring islands and kingdoms as
well as grow his army. It’s not often enough that fantasy books feature an
unforgiving conqueror as the main character and I enjoy reading about the bad
guy from time to time. Marith’s isn’t the only POV we get during this campaign
and it’s a relief to switch to Thalia, Tobias, and Orhan after so much misery.
Though it’s really only switched to someone else’s misery. What I’m saying is
that it’s dark and actually gets a little tedious. I honestly wish this book
was about a hundred pages shorter because I think my overall opinion might have
been a little more positive.
Overall this wasn’t a bad book, though as I mentioned it
felt like more of the same after several hundred pages. The plot keeps
advancing and there are some parts that are SUPER cool – I mean there are
dragons – but it wasn’t quite as engaging as the first book. My favorite arc in
this series so far has been that of Orhan and his endeavours in Sorlost The
political machinations there are ridiculous and I loved every tense moment of
it!! Will they be assassinated? Will the people drag them from their homes and
tear them apart in the streets? It really kept me guessing. If you read and
enjoyed the first book, then I would suggest reading this as well – I seem to
be in the minority of those who find it just okay.