I received a review copy from the publishers as part of this tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Fantasy Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 3 stars Series: yes - book 2
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE GAUNTLET AND THE FIST BENEATH*
Break the chains. Hold your strength. Burn your foes.
Once a warrior of the Stormguard Commandos, Floré wrought horrors in the rotstorm to protect her people. She did her duty and swore to leave the bloodshed behind. But when her daughter, Marta, was kidnapped, Floré was forced to once again raise her gauntlet against the devils of Ferron to bring her home.
Now Marta is dying from the skein-magic she inherited from her father, and the Protectorate is weakened by the absence of the whitestaffs. The mystical order of healers and sages fled to their island citadel of Riven when strange orbs cut through the night.
Floré and her comrades must race to find a cure for Marta, to find the truth of the whitestaffs’ betrayal, and to fight back against the encroaching children of the storm.
Floré has taken up her gauntlets and her sword to keep her people safe – but steel alone might not be enough…
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
If THE GAUNTLET AND THE FIST BENEATH is a book about a woman on a quest to save her daughter (and the various people caught up in the quest with her), then THE GAUNTLET AND THE BURNING BLADE is about a world plunging towards chaos. The scope of this book is so much wider than the previous entry (as demonstrated by the three maps at the start of it!)
We still follow Floré’s quest to save Marta, this time to find out why the people who might be able to help with her magic have withdrawn, but there are also gods and wronged-peoples planning vengeance. There are deceptions and plans afoot that could unravel everything Floré has fought for. I am intrigued to see where some of the revelations and side-changes are going to lead in the final book.
A lot happens in this book – there are more POV characters (I think I counted past 8?) and more plot threads and threats to keep track of. I suggest reading it when you have time and mental space so you get the best possible reading experience – given there are some events in the past, I don’t think it would be all that easy to dip in and out of this book.
The epic fantasy feel of the first book continues in this one – instead of quest fantasy, we’re getting the starts of an epic battle between nations, and gods and men. All the monsters are back, with more focus on the all-power wyrms, which are pretty intimidating to come up against. There’s also a big epic battle of magic, which was so fun because epic magic battle of spells. (The outcome was NOOOOOOO though – there is a big emotional rollercoaster in the final act that I did not see coming – it is very cruel.)
Read my reviews of other books by Ian Green:
Rotstorm (this series):