A Time of Dread by John Gwynne – Review

Cover- A Time of Dread

Published: February 20, 2018

Publisher: Orbit Books

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Of Blood and Bone #1

Pages: 512 (Paperback)

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


The Ben-Elim, a fierce race of warrior-angels, burst into the Banished Lands over a hundred and thirty years ago. They were in pursuit of their eternal enemy, the Kadoshim demon-horde. On that day a great battle was fought, the Ben-Elim and Kadoshim joined by allies from the races of both men and giants, and a great victory was won.

Now much of the Banished Lands is ruled by the Ben-Elim, who have made this world their home, extending their influence and power as they swallow ancient kingdoms into the protective grasp of their ever-extending borders. But peace is fragile within the realm and the Kadoshim that remain are now amassing on the edges of the empire….

Threats long in the shadows are about to strike.

Once again John Gwynne has managed to capture the imagination and attention of his readers! If anything I may end up liking this series more than his first, though I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on why exactly. I think it’s a combination of things.  If you’re new to Gwynne’s work, I would like to point out that this series is new, but is a continuation of his The Faithful and the Fallen series. I definitely think it can be read and enjoyed without having read the preceding series, but those who’ve read those books also will probably get maximum enjoyment.

A Time of Dread is set over a hundred years after the events of The Faithful and the Fallen series detailing the battle between Corban the Bright Star and the Kadoshim and their dark lord Asroth. We have a largely new cast of characters, though some of the long-lived giants are familiar faces. The new characters are refreshing and they all seem to have really fantastic plot arcs thus far. As a matter of fact, each of the POVs is equally interesting to me which is kind of a rare occurrence! I don’t have strong favorite yet, but I’m definitely thinking that Drem and Riv are going to be really important, especially after the conclusion of this book! Man, that was a stunner!

If you’re looking for some good vs. evil that isn’t entirely clear-cut, plus an entirely satisfying amount action this might just be the book for you. There are bear attacks, twisted hybrid monsters, clearly evil bad guys, not so benevolent good guys, fisticuffs, and sword fights. What more could a girl ask for in a fantasy book? Not much. I think I actually like the plot better in this book – maybe it’s because I love beginnings, but I also like that the evil is already present and that the Ben-Elim aren’t turning out to be as good as they were once portrayed. They’re actually a controlling, big-brother ruling class who insist on imposing their rules on the world for the greater good. Things aren’t all cohesive amongst them though, as we come to find out… chaos makes for some interesting chapters.

A Time of Dread has managed a perfect balance of well-written new and old characters, an engaging plot, and a wonderfully apt title. This is set in a time when people are leaving their homes in hopes of gaining a semblance of freedom, there are unspeakable terrors happening on the very doorstep of those who seek to prevent them, and anyone may be an agent of the Kadoshim. I have high hopes for this series and am greatly looking forward to the sequel.

Currently Reading: 2/5/18

Cover- A Time of Dread

A Time of Dread by John Gwynne

I’m very excited to see what sort of plan Gwynne has for the Banished Lands this time around. Hopefully I’ll be able to zoom right through this book and love it as much as I did his first series, especially since it’s got stellar reviews on Goodreads.


I’ll also be starting a new audiobook this week, but at the moment I haven’t quite decided which one!

Stacking the Shelves: 2/3/18

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and it’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. You can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Once again, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted one of these, which is a shame, since they’re one of my favorite blog posts to both share and read!

Received for Review:


A Time of Dread by John Gwynne

At long last, it’s arriving in the US! I’m looking forward to seeing how Gwynne’s newest series will take shape and how things have changed in the century since The Faithful and the Fallen series occurred. Thanks to Orbit for the finished copy.

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

Eek!! I’m really looking forward to this one, just to see what Tea does with her powers. She seems to be looking for revenge and it just might be awesome. I actually ended up with two copies of this book so there may be a giveaway for one in the near future! Thanks to Sourcebooks for the ARC!

Verdict on Crimson Fields by M.C. Planck

This was a surprise arrival from Pyr – I didn’t even know this series was on book 4 already! Sadly, I’m a couple books behind, so I don’t think I’ll be reading this one for awhile but the synopsis is pretty awesome.

Into the Green Unknown by Patrick Rogers

This was one of those rare books that I accept a copy from directly from the author AND it’s totally outside my usual genre. I’m really glad I got this one from Patrick Rogers because it was such a cool intro to a region of India I was wholly unfamiliar with! I’ll have a review up for this soon, so stay tuned.

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

Another SPFBO book is going big-time! I dearly hope they don’t change the cover for this because the original is on point. Can’t wait to dig into this one! Thanks to NetGalley and Crown for the eGalley.

The Fairies of Sadieville by Alex Bledsoe

I’ll be honest, I read the synopsis and hit the Request button. Fairies in Appalachia. Count me in, since ya know, I’m from that region and all. I hope it’s magical and strange and worthy of the Rothfuss blurb on the front. And I hope it can be read as a standalone because I goofed and didn’t realize it’s part of a series. Thanks to Tor and NetGalley for the eGalley.

Purchased Books:


The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

I picked up the hardcover of this one because it’s BEAUTIFUL and less than $8.00 right now on Amazon.

The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan

I snagged a copy of this in early December but it took until early January to finally show up on my doorstep so here it is! I love MJS’s books and I hope this will be no different. Definitely can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for Royce and Hadrian. Also, it’s signed which is cool.

And last but certainly not least, my monthly audiobook haul. I love Audible. It affords me so much opportunity to check out books I otherwise wouldn’t have the time to sit down and read a physical copy. This month I picked up Blackwing which I’ve already reviewed as well as Iron Gold and The Cruel Prince which will have reviews forthcoming!

Waiting on Wednesday: A Time of Dread by John Gwynne

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers feature a book that we just can’t wait to get our hands on!

Cover- A Time of Dread

US Release: January 9, 2018

I feel like I’m a little late to the game since this has apparently been released in the UK already (you lucky people). I’ve only to wait a few more months here in the US for John Gwynne’s newest book. A Time of Dread returns us to the same world as The Faithful and the Fallen series, but 100 years later. The Ben-Elim rule the Banished Lands, but evil still lurks. I can’t wait to see what Gwynne has in store for his readers with this one!!!