Blood oaths are sworn and broken in a city facing total annihilation as Richard Ford's epic fantasy series, which opened with Herald Of The Storm, continues. Heroes must rise...or the city will fall. The King is dead. His daughter, untested and alone, now wears the Steel Crown. And a vast horde is steadily carving a bloody road south, hell-bent on razing Steelhaven to the ground. Before the city faces the terror that approaches, it must crush the danger already lurking within its walls. But will the cost of victory be as devastating as that of defeat?
©2014 Richard Ford (P)2014 Headline Digital
A fine instalment of the Steelhaven trilogy. After the "heralding" of book one, this sequel ramps up the pressure and the atmosphere. Ford is very strong on plot; whilst his characters sometimes seem familiar, recognisable fantasy mainstreams this is not really a weakness as they do not always stick to the rules and do what you might expect. There is barely time to gather breath as hectic yet finely crafted events come thick and fast. By the conclusion it's all set up nicely for the final novel in the trilogy, which I await with impatience.
A word of praise for narrator David Thorpe who imbues each character with a unique and fitting voice and allows to story to race along at just the right pace.
Perhaps not quite as grim as Abercrombie, not as dark as Mark Lawrence nor as deep as GRRM, but cracking entertainment and heartily recommended.
This second instalment of the Steelhaven trilogy brings the characters closer together and connections between them are becoming clearer. This is a character driven novel and although the impeding war provides the backdrop it is the desire to know what happens to our various 'heros' that makes me want hear more.
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