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The Fires of Vengeance

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Desperate to delay an impending attack by the indigenous people of Xidda, Tau and his queen craft a dangerous plan. If Tau succeeds, the queen will have the time she needs to assemble her forces and launch an all-out assault on her own capital city, where her sister is being propped up as the 'true' Queen of the Omehi.If the city can be taken, if Tsiora can reclaim her thr Desperate to delay an impending attack by the indigenous people of Xidda, Tau and his queen craft a dangerous plan. If Tau succeeds, the queen will have the time she needs to assemble her forces and launch an all-out assault on her own capital city, where her sister is being propped up as the 'true' Queen of the Omehi.If the city can be taken, if Tsiora can reclaim her throne and reunite her people, then the Omehi might have a chance to survive the coming onslaught.


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Desperate to delay an impending attack by the indigenous people of Xidda, Tau and his queen craft a dangerous plan. If Tau succeeds, the queen will have the time she needs to assemble her forces and launch an all-out assault on her own capital city, where her sister is being propped up as the 'true' Queen of the Omehi.If the city can be taken, if Tsiora can reclaim her thr Desperate to delay an impending attack by the indigenous people of Xidda, Tau and his queen craft a dangerous plan. If Tau succeeds, the queen will have the time she needs to assemble her forces and launch an all-out assault on her own capital city, where her sister is being propped up as the 'true' Queen of the Omehi.If the city can be taken, if Tsiora can reclaim her throne and reunite her people, then the Omehi might have a chance to survive the coming onslaught.

30 review for The Fires of Vengeance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review. The Fires of Vengeance is an excellent sequel. If Winter can keep this impressive quality up for the remaining two books, the series is guaranteed to be included in many fantasy reader’s lists of favorite fantasy series. Two things first. One, can we first appreciate that cover art by Karla Ortiz? The cover art of this series is simply stunning. Just I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review. The Fires of Vengeance is an excellent sequel. If Winter can keep this impressive quality up for the remaining two books, the series is guaranteed to be included in many fantasy reader’s lists of favorite fantasy series. Two things first. One, can we first appreciate that cover art by Karla Ortiz? The cover art of this series is simply stunning. Just look at it, I thought the cover art of The Rage of Dragons was superb already, but Ortiz managed to create an even better one for The Fires of Vengeance. Second, I want to thank Winter for writing this novel; it appeared to me at the right time. Last month was one of—if not—the worst reading month I’ve ever had in my reading career. I’m not kidding; half of the total number of books I read last month received a 3-stars or below rating from me. Two books I read in September actually took me eight days of struggle to finish even though they’re about 700 pages long. For comparison, none of the books in The Stormlight Archives or Malazan Book of the Fallen ever took me more than a week to finish even though they’re like 500 pages longer. The Fires of Vengeance, though, oh my goodness, I must say, it felt so damn satisfying to read an epic fantasy novel that’s equally page-turning, intense, and emotional again. “Keep fighting and I swear that before it consumes us, we’ll burn our pain to ash in the fires of vengeance.” The Fires of Vengeance is the second book in The Burning quartet by Evan Winter, and it’s the sequel to the blazing debut The Rage of Dragons. In my honest opinion, The Fires of Vengeance successfully took the wonderful foundations established in the first book, and Winter ignites them to a new height. As the stories continue immediately from where the first book left off, Tau’s quest for revenge continues to be the main driving strength of the plot. However, at its core, I like to believe that The Fires of Vengeance is not only about revenge; it’s about resistance, it’s about finding and accumulating the collective strength to fight back against injustice. Enough is enough, and I loved reading about it. Plus, we also get to learn a great deal about the world-building and history of the series here, especially regarding Isihogo, the Caste, and The Cull. “There’s more of us than them, and when we finally refuse to survive on the scraps they throw us, our numbers will make all the difference.” Similar to the first book, most of the narrative is told from Tau’s POV. I have to say, the more I read about Tau, the more similar he and Darrow from Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown became, and I loved it. I know Darrow isn’t a popularly well-liked character among many readers of the series, but there’s something extraordinarily adrenaline-pumping about his journey that compelled me insanely; that’s what I also get from reading this series. I highly enjoyed reading Tau’s inspiring determination; suffering and pain constantly visit him, but he won’t back down. One of the biggest improvements I found in this book, though, is related to fixing the small issue I had with the first book. In my review of The Rage of Dragons, I’ve mentioned that it’s a missed opportunity that the role of the female characters was close to non-existent despite being repeatedly praised as Gifted or powerful in the storyline. Thankfully, Winter has completely redeemed that issue with justice here. The addition of Queen Tsiora, Nyah, Esi, and many other strong female characters to the already great cast from the first book made the storyline more exciting, and more importantly, it made me care towards more characters than before. This is what I wanted and expected from the text in the first book, and Winter delivered them satisfyingly with incredible precision. “Nyah told me that life, like love, is meant to be shared and that we are least linked to our own selves when we have no one with whom to share what we are. None of us are meant to go through this life alone.” Speaking of characters, either I have forgotten how good Winter was in the first book, or he has tremendously improved his strength in characterizations here. It’s understandably easy to get caught up in Tau and his journey, but if you haven’t read this book, I want you to pay attention to the few non-Tau’s POV chapters when you get to this book. For example, there was this one short chapter told from a new POV character named Duma, and Winter managed to make me care about this character within a few pages. I’ve read books that take me two or three full novels to get me invested in a character. Winter, like many other fantastic authors, did it in a few pages; that’s something magnificent. I have always wondered how Tau looked like in the eyes of his villains, and when Winter put one of the villains as the POV chapters, his talent for characterizations truly shines. From the villain’s perspective, it makes you really wonder who’s the real villain here; Tau himself looked like a demon from their view. When it comes down to it, the conflicts could be boils down to the fact that both sides think they’re in the right. “You call me a monster because I won’t let you treat me like my life is worthless, a thing to be used and thrown away?” it said. “You call me a monster because I refuse to live like you think I deserve? If that’s what you mean by monster, watch me be monstrous!” It felt so effortless for me to submerge myself into Winter’s engaging writing and well-written action sequences. The pacing and momentum building in The Fires of Vengeance were impeccable. Winter has a talent for pacing his narrative and building the emotions within each scene gradually before finally exploding them in immersive violent confrontations. Oh yes, believe me, this sequel is a much more violent and bloody—with more dragons and demons—novel than its predecessor. The reminiscent-to-Dark Souls training montage made a return, the tension-packed duels were spectacular, and the scale of the violence in this sequel gets more brutal and destructive. Tau’s wrath left blood in his path, and who remained from the ruin will continue to do the same. Vengeance begets vengeance. Blood begets blood. Death begets death. It’s a never-ending loop of sorrow and loss. Maybe the price of war can be measured by the number of victims of atrocities. Reading Winter’s action sequences is a delight and gripping experience because they’re so well-written and vivid, but what made Winter’s action sequences even better was the empathizing emotional conflicts and intensely important themes attached to the battles. “Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less.” I’ve read and reviewed more than 400 fantasy books now, and my instincts scream that The Fires of Vengeance has efficaciously proven Evan Winter as a future big-name in the fantasy genre. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, an exceptional sequel that succeeded over its incredible predecessor. The characterizations are better, the stakes are higher, the scales of the battles are bigger, and the devastations inflicted are grimmer. The Fires of Vengeance is being released next month in November alongside other future best-selling books in the epic fantasy genre like Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson, The Burning God by Rebecca Kuang, Call of the Bone Ships by R.J. Barker, The Stone Knife by Anna Stephens, and several more. I’m confident in saying that you would be giving yourself a massive disservice if you decided to skip on this in favor of the others. Instead, here’s a better option, buy/borrow and read them all. Consider November as a celebratory month to treat yourself, and consume this absorbing story about war, resistance, camaraderie, and justice. “Evil must be punished or it will continue undeterred until it consumes all that is good.” Official release date: 12th November 2020 (UK) and 10th November 2020 (US) You can pre-order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping) | Bookshop (Support Local Bookstores!) The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing! My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Devin, Diana, Hamad, Helen, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Michelle, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Zoe.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 “Keep fighting, and I swear that before it consumes us, we’ll burn our pain to ash in the fires of vengeance.” The Rage of Dragons ★★★★ 1/4 The Fires of Vengeance ★★★★ 1/4 I read The Rage of Dragons earlier this year and really enjoyed it and i was so excited for this sequence. Thanks for the publisher for providing me with an E-ARC, all opinions are mine though. Although I read The first book this year, I forgot some of the details because I re This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 “Keep fighting, and I swear that before it consumes us, we’ll burn our pain to ash in the fires of vengeance.” The Rage of Dragons ★★★★ 1/4 The Fires of Vengeance ★★★★ 1/4 I read The Rage of Dragons earlier this year and really enjoyed it and i was so excited for this sequence. Thanks for the publisher for providing me with an E-ARC, all opinions are mine though. Although I read The first book this year, I forgot some of the details because I read 130+ books this year, I found a spoilery video on youtube that refreshed my memory and it was a life-saver, the first pages work as a summary too and I liked that. I may focus on the things I did not like in this review but take it with a grain of salt because if you look at my rating you will know it was a pretty good book. The book was very easy to get into and I like that, I don’t like it when I am confused for hundred of pages before things start to make sense. The plot continues after the tragical events of book 1. I don’t want to spoil anything in either books so I am not gonna elaborate further. But Tau is now preparing for war against Abasi Odili and that’s the main plot in this book. “Lady Gifted, as far as I know, the only path to becoming what others cannot is to suffer what others will not.” The characters are well written but there was a problem that bothered me a bit and it was communication between these different characters. I felt most of the characters were hot headed and wanted to achieve their own agendas without giving a fuck about the people around them and that’s just annoying because they all had titles they should live up to. When you are a Councillor or a champion or in charge of an army, try to act like it at least! Winter is still ferocious to his characters and they go through all kind of hardships in the book and we say goodbye to many of the characters so try not getting attached to any of them. The world-building is as good as book 1, we get to explore the demon realm Isihigo much more than we did in book 1. Does the book have Dragons? It does a bit more than book 1 but it focuses on demons more which I thought was a bit bizarre but it was still cool in its own way! Another thing that I certainly enjoyed in both books was how fast paced the book are, Winter is good at writing action scenes and the book is full of those, there is not a dull moment but maybe we should have some time to breathe a bit and slow down. It makes the book hard to put down, I finished the book in 3 days! “Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less.” Summary: I enjoyed The Fires of Vengeance as much as I did for The Rage of Dragons but for kind of different reasons. The book was fast paced, full of action and easy to get into. I would have preferred more character growth and them calming down a bit. Definitely excited for book 3 now!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I cant tell you how thrilled I was to receive an early copy of this book. The Rage of Dragons blew me a way and left me wondering why I hadn't picked it up sooner, a mistake I avoided making this time. This is a fantasy of epic proportions, the world building, magic system, plot and political aspects of this book are meticulously thought out and executed in a superb manner. The writing is engaging and makes it easy to follow everything that's happening, and a lot happens (I won't give you any sp I cant tell you how thrilled I was to receive an early copy of this book. The Rage of Dragons blew me a way and left me wondering why I hadn't picked it up sooner, a mistake I avoided making this time. This is a fantasy of epic proportions, the world building, magic system, plot and political aspects of this book are meticulously thought out and executed in a superb manner. The writing is engaging and makes it easy to follow everything that's happening, and a lot happens (I won't give you any spoilers, I need you all to read this yourselves!). The Fires of Vengeance picks up immediately after the Rage of Dragons and easily has one of the most well executed introductory recaps I have ever read! It didn't feel clunky or repetitive and didn't an excellent job of reminding me of small details I had forgotten since reading the first book. Evan Winters did a stunning job here and it's hard to believe that this is his first series. I can't wait for the next two books!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

    This book isn't even out yet, but I saw an incel give this a one-star review just because there are "not enough white characters." Seriously. Giving it five stars to balance it out. This is also my most anticipated book of the year so... This book isn't even out yet, but I saw an incel give this a one-star review just because there are "not enough white characters." Seriously. Giving it five stars to balance it out. This is also my most anticipated book of the year so...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Obida

    Buddy read with Ikenna “Rage is love … twisted in on itself,” he said, using some of the words she’d spoken to him on the night Zuri died. “Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less.” The Fires of Vengence is the second book in The Burning series, I'm glad it didn't disappoint, I was a bit scared given that this series Buddy read with Ikenna “Rage is love … twisted in on itself,” he said, using some of the words she’d spoken to him on the night Zuri died. “Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less.” The Fires of Vengence is the second book in The Burning series, I'm glad it didn't disappoint, I was a bit scared given that this series is the author's debut. My fears were unfounded, this book is as good as the first one with lots of improvements in writing, world building and character development. For those who are unfamiliar with this series, this is an African inspired fantasy with an all African characters. There is friendship, great plot, well depicted fight scenes, amazing world building, romance and plot here, everything that makes a good fantasy book. I mentioned earlier that the world building improved, I love it when authors gets better with each book. The writing not only improved but changed, the first book was written solely in Tau's POV, but this is written in multiple POV with Tau having most of the narratives. The events in this book happened six months after the first book, not only is the kingdom facing external army, civil war is also brewing. We follow Tau, Tsiora the queen and his friends try their best to win the war. Tau really changed, I loved that the change didn't happen overnight, it was a gradual process, in book 1 he only cared about vengeance, now he knows there's more to life than that. Tsiora the queen wasn't what I expected at all, she's not only pious but compassionate and willing to listen to people around her. Hadith is a genius, despite his age and caste he doesn't back down. Kalan Okar is the character that surprised me most, him being a greater noble should hate Tau and his friends but instead he seeks their approval because not only is Tau a great swordsman but the queen choose him, that alone is enough for him.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eon ♒Windrunner♒

    I received an ARC from the publisher (Orbit) in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler free. The Fires of Vengeance melts expectations; burning even hotter than the Rage of Dragons and blazing a trail for Evan Winter to join an elite group at the top of the fantasy pile. I absolutely loved Evan Winter's first contribution to the fantasy genre, and ever since I finished the Rage of Dragons I had been counting the months to the sequel’s release and holding on to the hope of maybe even I received an ARC from the publisher (Orbit) in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler free. The Fires of Vengeance melts expectations; burning even hotter than the Rage of Dragons and blazing a trail for Evan Winter to join an elite group at the top of the fantasy pile. I absolutely loved Evan Winter's first contribution to the fantasy genre, and ever since I finished the Rage of Dragons I had been counting the months to the sequel’s release and holding on to the hope of maybe even getting a chance to read it earlier. When I was offered an ARC, I jumped at the chance to read more about Tau and his journey on the path of vengeance and immediately made space in my schedule. “Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less.” First off, I once again want to commend Karla Ortiz on the artwork she has created that adorns the covers of this series. I thought she could not top the beautiful art she did for The Rage of Dragons, but I like the cover for Fires of Vengeance even better and can honestly say that it would make me buy this book even knowing nothing about it. It’s gorgeous and I would not be lying in saying I am overly excited to see the remaining two covers! “I have died more times than the days I’ve lived” The story picks up immediately after the climactic events of the first book, but I won't discuss those here at all for fear of possible spoilers. What I will say is that those events have a profound impact on our protagonist and greatly shapes him going forward. Tau is still as driven as ever in his quest, but the situations he finds himself in forces him to see past his tunnel vision of vengeance and to glimpse other possible futures, giving him a chance to grow as a person and making the story all the more well rounded for it. While the story up to now was sufficiently carried by this singular goal of Tau’s to utterly destroy those who did him wrong, as a driver for the plot it did not seem sustainable for four books and I am ecstatic that there is now so much more to the story and main character. And while he is given the dragon’s share of development befitting the main character, Winter has not forgotten the rest of the cast, colouring in the empty spaces of the other players as well, giving us much more interesting characters, and apart from rage and its effects, also exploring the themes of brotherhood and camaraderie, family, friendship and love, all the while investing us even further in every possible fight, conversation, relationship and future. "Grief, anger, they’ll hold you for a time. They must. But if you let them root and fester, they’ll become a hate that will consume you.” Now to address the baby elephant in the first book’s room. As for my one complaint with The Rage of Dragons, it is non-existent here. That book has a distinct lack of noteworthy women as part of the main story. Yes, they were there in the background, and they were stated as powerful, but they seemed to take a back seat to the men in the story which is all the more unusual considering the matriarchal society. And upon rereading I also noticed a few instances of sexism and or misogyny from the male characters that I had previously missed and made me cringe. I fully expected Evan Winter to rectify these issues in the sequel though, as the groundwork for these powerful female characters had already been laid and I was not disappointed. The author excises everything that was wrong in that regard and venerates the female characters as they should always have been, giving them the stage and letting them shine. The scope of the story has become much larger too as we are treated to further exploration of Xidda; her peoples, politics, history and lore are all expanded upon and there is so much to see and enjoy that you almost want to take a break from the relentless excitement to take it all in. Winter has up to now revealed only bits and pieces regarding the Omehi, but book two serves up an entire feast of new information that was thoroughly engrossing and whetted the appetite for what is surely setting up an explosive continuation of the series. There is just a LOT going on in this story, but it never feels overwhelming or confusing and it kicks off right from the get-go, setting a breakneck pace with revelations galore (I may have shouted out HOLY CRAP! more than once.) and exhilarating action packed in from beginning to end. Speaking of action… The Rage of Dragons should have left readers in no doubt that Evan Winter's skill at writing combat scenes clearly announced him as brilliant in that regard, with pulse pounding, vivid and easy to follow fighting scenes that are as good as any you will read. The Fires of Vengeance only confirms these opinions with duels and battles that are even more ferocious and thrilling than what came before, and the story is filled with them as if Winter had a box full of them just waiting to be unpacked and gifted to us. It’s relentless and yet never drawn out, upping the ante continuously, ensuring that the pacing never suffers whilst presenting many riveting and cinematic sequences. If you are a fan of well written close quarter combat, then look no further. Winter excels at it. The killing fields were covered with the dead, lying like unearthed worms across the ground as smoke cocooned the air like massive spiderwebs. Men, their mouths yawning wide in endless screams, died for an eternity, and in the sky was Black Wrath... If you have not yet seen the writing between the lines, this book is extremely hard to put down. The writing gives over to effortless reading. The prose is always concise and engaging and perfectly balances plot and characterization with the above mentioned numerous action sequences. I could have easily consumed this story in one or two sittings had life not intervened, it was THAT gripping. In fact, I buddy read this with my co-blogger, Petrik, and the difference in page turning quality between this book and his previous read was like night and day for him. Consider yourself warned then that you may lose sleep! While most of the narrative is told from Tau’s perspective, there is a particular POV chapter in this book that was as BRUTAL as they come. At first I was puzzled as to the why of it, but it soon became clear that this was an inspired decision on Winter’s part, giving insight into a particularly harsh experience and the realities of it’s debilitating and unforgiving nature, while also providing a glimpse at our main characters from an outsider’s viewpoint. Brilliant! The first book of The Burning quartet was a fantastic debut with minor issues, and I am convinced that any writer would be happy to repeat that writing feat, delivering more of the same. Evan Winter however did not rest on his laurels, and not only eviscerated the minor faults of the first book, but amplified what was already great about it, with a book that outclasses it’s predecessor in every department and sets an extremely high bar for books three and four. Simply put: This is a must read! And while it is difficult to imagine Winter surpassing the excellence of this second book, I have faith. The final pages of the story delivered a tantalising stopping point to the middle of the series, on the brink of a major event and setting up a possible war that may dwarf anything the story has given us so far. “We may not be strong enough . . . ,” she whispered. “We may not have our tomorrow.” Highly recommended. *********************************************** Official release date: • November 12th, 2020 (UK) & November 10th, 2020 (US) You can pre-order the book from: • Amazon UK • Amazon US • Book Depository (Free shipping) • Bookshop (Support Local Bookstores.) • The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. • You can find this review and more at Novel Notions

  7. 4 out of 5

    Will.J.R. Gwynne

    I HAVE THE HARDBACK Cannot wait to start in the next few weeks! ********************* Look at this cover! This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year, after The Rage of Dragons just blew me away.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Books With Kayla

    I saw that there was a 1 star rating on this book because it didn't have any white people in it.... Fantasy finally starts becoming more inclusive so of course people have to complain about it. It blows my mind that someone would go out of their way to rate a book because of this. If I wanted to rate every fantasy book with an all white cast 1 star, pretty sure I'd be doing it until I died. Rage of Dragons was fantastic, I have high hopes for this novel, and if the race of the characters in it of I saw that there was a 1 star rating on this book because it didn't have any white people in it.... Fantasy finally starts becoming more inclusive so of course people have to complain about it. It blows my mind that someone would go out of their way to rate a book because of this. If I wanted to rate every fantasy book with an all white cast 1 star, pretty sure I'd be doing it until I died. Rage of Dragons was fantastic, I have high hopes for this novel, and if the race of the characters in it offends you, then I guess you'll just miss out on a truly unique series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Salamonsen

    When is this coming out? Having read the first one I can’t wait.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David S Meanderings)

    4.5 stars. NON- spoiler review. A brilliant continuation combining Evan Winter’s excellent prose, characterization, world building, and edge of your seat action. Thank you so much to Orbit Books for giving me this eArc. Receiving this advanced copy did not affect my review in any way. This was my most anticipated read of 2020. Book 1, The Rage of Dragons was my favorite book of 2019 so being able to get an early copy was like a dream come true. I really enjoyed this book. “Keep fighting, and I swear 4.5 stars. NON- spoiler review. A brilliant continuation combining Evan Winter’s excellent prose, characterization, world building, and edge of your seat action. Thank you so much to Orbit Books for giving me this eArc. Receiving this advanced copy did not affect my review in any way. This was my most anticipated read of 2020. Book 1, The Rage of Dragons was my favorite book of 2019 so being able to get an early copy was like a dream come true. I really enjoyed this book. “Keep fighting, and I swear that before it consumes us, we’ll burn our pain to ash in the fires of vengeance.” The first thing I want to focus on is our main POV character Tau. Tau was my favorite part of the first book. His relentless determination, single minded focus on revenge, and incredible drive made him very compelling. For all that Tau was very compelling in the first book, he also felt somewhat one dimensional at times because how extreme his focus was. I don’t mean this as a criticism of The Rage of Dragons. It made complete sense that Tau would be who he was in the first book. His wounds were fresh and he was a very broken, hurting character. In The Fires of Vengeance we get more nuanced character development from Tau. He is still very driven, but he developes other motivations throughout this book that make him even more interesting to follow. He even begins to heal a little bit throughout the narrative as he grows close to those around him and begins to believe in something greater than himself and his own revenge. “This is the choice you need me to make?” Tau asked, choking up. “A choice between woe and wrath?” It was great getting to know the side characters more in this one as well. Queen Tsiora was a huge highlight as we get to see the weight of the crown on her head, while also getting to see the real personality behind the monarch’s mask that she is forced to wear. Hadith, Uduak, Themba, and Yaw are great as usual. Watching this band of brothers struggle together, grow along side and support each other was another one of the highlights of this novel. Each has their own distinct personality that adds value to the story and their loyalty and love for one another is moving. I think the last series that I read that had me this emotionally invested was The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne. In The Fires of Vengeance, there was not a single moment I wasn’t engaged in the story. The prose creates a raw, visceral feel to the narrative that can’t help but suck you in and make the reader feel as if the characters you are following are family. You feel their pain as they go through loss. You feel their rage as they face injustice, death, and betrayal. You feel their joy as they band together and find moments of intimacy and love in the face of all that opposes them. You can tell that Evan Winter poured his heart into this story and its characters and in my opinion, that is a huge part of what makes him a great writer. “I can smile and talk as sweet as cane sugar. I can follow every rule you’ll ever make, and it will never be good enough for people like you, because people like you don’t see me as people.” Tau and his friends’ continue their fight against the Nobles who have kept the Lessers and Drudges down, deeming them less than and unworthy of even basic human rights. There are new players vying for power and new circumstances to navigate. The stakes are heightened by the never ending hedeni threat, looming portents of the Cull, traitors multiplying among the Omehi, and a war coming that could cause the extinction of the Omehi race. If The Rage of Dragons was a fast paced thrill ride all the way, The Fires of Vengeance is a methodical, tension filled build up to a cliffhanger of a climax. The curse of reading this early is that I will now have even longer to wait for the next installment. I need to know what will happen! “The powerful, in Tau’s experience, kept seeing the loss of their desires as being world ending without ever once stopping to realize that for people like him, every day held that potential already.” This story is epic in every sense of the word. The world expands organically as our protagonists are forced to find new and creative ways to defeat their enemies. I loved learning more about the Cull, the history of the Omehi people, and the realm of Isihogo. Every snippet, every single piece of information that was given had me more intrigued and invested in the story as I went along. I love this magic system. More and more I have been recognizing the value of a magic system with costs, realistic progression, and high consequences for failure. This one has it all. The magic is used in unique ways which brought even more uncertainty and tension to the plot. And of course, there are dragons. Enough said. This was a fantastic continuation of the tale of the Omehi people and their struggle for justice and survival. I cannot wait until book 3 comes out so I can see where this story will go next! *Quotes were from an advanced reading copy and therefore might not be in the final product*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lucia

    This was exactly what I needed! Fast-paced and action-packed fantasy novel with storyline that sucked me in from the very beginning to the end. Evan Winter did not disappoint. This sequel has everything that made me enjoy first book. Moreover, I finally got what I was missing in The Rage of Dragons and that was proper character development for our main hero Tau. There are two features that set this series apart from other fantasy novels. Firstly, Evan Winter presented very original and fascinatin This was exactly what I needed! Fast-paced and action-packed fantasy novel with storyline that sucked me in from the very beginning to the end. Evan Winter did not disappoint. This sequel has everything that made me enjoy first book. Moreover, I finally got what I was missing in The Rage of Dragons and that was proper character development for our main hero Tau. There are two features that set this series apart from other fantasy novels. Firstly, Evan Winter presented very original and fascinating magic system. Secondly, story moves in neck-breaking speed leaving no dull or boring parts. Furthermore, it provides almost non-stop action and plenty of satisfying duels and fights which transform this series into immensely enjoyable read for all fans of fantasy and military genre. All in all, I have to admit that main characters really grew on me in this sequel and I cannot wait to find out how will their story continue in the next instalment. Highly recommended! *ARC provided by publisher as an exchange for honest review*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alex Nieves

    Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less. If you know me and my love for Rage of Dragons (RoD) then this review is not going to surprise you one bit. This book was fantastic and exactly what I wanted from a sequel to this story. We are still following Tau and his revenge plot from book 1 and this picks up immediately afte Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less. If you know me and my love for Rage of Dragons (RoD) then this review is not going to surprise you one bit. This book was fantastic and exactly what I wanted from a sequel to this story. We are still following Tau and his revenge plot from book 1 and this picks up immediately after the conclusion of RoD. This book hits the ground running and once again proves that Evan Winter can write one hell of a story. This book does a brilliant job of expanding the world and people's of Uhmlaba and the demons of Isihogo. Evan Winter beautifully blends together the non-stop and near relentless action of RoD with a brilliant mix of characterization, world building and relationships here in Fires of Vengeance. So let's get into it. The Characters Tau - Our main protagonist that I loved to follow in RoD is back once again to kick some serious ass and unleash his rage upon the world. I am happy to say that he actually grew a lot since the conclusion of book 1 and is a more rounded and realized character this time around. I know a lot of people's complaints from book 1 was that he only focused on revenge and that is not simply black/white here. Tsiora - A much more interesting character to me than Zuri was from RoD. This is the main female character that we spend our time with in FoV and she is great. She's the queen to be and as cutthroat as they come and channels her inner fire as the daughter of Taifa and is not to be f*cked with. The rest of the cast is solid as well, whether it be Jabari or Uduak or the newcomers of Auset and Ramia. The Story We are still following Tau's story and see nearly everything through his eyes, but other characters are starting to shine as well and we do see a bit of their POV's. This story is written with so much passion and love and just manages to keep me wanting to read more and never stop. The action is visceral and violent, the prose is engaging and straightforward and as the quote to start this review should tell you, it occasionally drops some serious knowledge. We follow the story of Tau, Tsiory and his companions in their battle to be taken seriously in the world and take the Noble's control away and their lordship over them. The Lessers and Petty Nobles are sick and tired of being treated subhuman and this entire plot revolves around their quest to conquer the tyrants that own the land and the capital city of Palm. This story expands on the foundation that was built in RoD while maintaining a concise and succinct thrill of a book. Oh also if you complained about dragons not being around much in Rage of Dragons, read this book. The implications and impact of Isihogo in this followup as well as all of the various factions at play has me incredibly excited for book 3 and the wait between now and then will seriously test my patience.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mike's Book Reviews

    Full Video Review Here: https://youtu.be/f9On96Z2lMs What started out as the first channel read along has turned into one of the most intriguing starts to a fantasy universe in modern fantasy. The world that Evan Winter crafted in The Rage of Dragons gets a level up in this sequel and builds upon that world, and underworld, in a most satisfying way. Very much like Pierce Brown's Red Rising saga, Winter has found a way to make his books seemingly non-stop action, but never in a way that feels exhau Full Video Review Here: https://youtu.be/f9On96Z2lMs What started out as the first channel read along has turned into one of the most intriguing starts to a fantasy universe in modern fantasy. The world that Evan Winter crafted in The Rage of Dragons gets a level up in this sequel and builds upon that world, and underworld, in a most satisfying way. Very much like Pierce Brown's Red Rising saga, Winter has found a way to make his books seemingly non-stop action, but never in a way that feels exhausting. Tau can seem a little overpowered at times, but not sticking exclusively to his POV in this one helps to see how others view him after becoming the Queen's champion. If you were hoping to see Tau cross a few more names off his list that he didn't quite finish in book 1, you're probably going to want to pick this one up ASAP. While it doesn't take a lot of big chances and really just expands on what was done in the first book, I always say if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Can't wait for book 3.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Boyce Warner

    Michael targaryen I don't know if you are trolling or being intentionally offensive but I am glad that you are of the smallest minority of the readers of this amazing book. How does it feel to be alone? Race is just a colour, heritage is important but it does not define who we are. Our actions do. No matter what tau looks like, he is a fictional hero of mine that inspires me and that is what I care about. 10/5 stars Michael targaryen I don't know if you are trolling or being intentionally offensive but I am glad that you are of the smallest minority of the readers of this amazing book. How does it feel to be alone? Race is just a colour, heritage is important but it does not define who we are. Our actions do. No matter what tau looks like, he is a fictional hero of mine that inspires me and that is what I care about. 10/5 stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Holly (The Grimdragon)

    "Snarling, laughing, jeering, the nightmare among them attacked and the demons fought back." The Fires of Vengeance is the second novel in the Burning series by Evan Winter. I swear it feels like I just read The Rage of Dragons, but it was nearly 1.5 years ago now. WHAT EVEN IS TIME? I would be remiss if I didn't first mention that glorious cover! Karla Ortiz continues to hit it out of the park with her gorgeous artwork! Not only is the cover stunning, but the book itself smells bloody delectable! "Snarling, laughing, jeering, the nightmare among them attacked and the demons fought back." The Fires of Vengeance is the second novel in the Burning series by Evan Winter. I swear it feels like I just read The Rage of Dragons, but it was nearly 1.5 years ago now. WHAT EVEN IS TIME? I would be remiss if I didn't first mention that glorious cover! Karla Ortiz continues to hit it out of the park with her gorgeous artwork! Not only is the cover stunning, but the book itself smells bloody delectable! I'm an unapologetic book sniffer, what can I say?!? But back to this amazing book. Remember how much I adored The Rage of Dragons? It still remains one of the best debuts that I've ever read! If Winter was worried about the so-called sophomore slump, you won't be able to tell with this story! The Fires of Vengeance is just as good--if not better, than its predecessor. Evan Winter has such a beautiful aura that has manifested itself onto the pages of this series in the most glorious way. From the dedication to his father at the beginning, to the very last scene, The Fires of Vengeance is the perfect jigsaw of tragedy, rage & hope. "I have died more times than the days I've lived." The Fires of Vengeance begins immediately after the events in The Rage of Dragons, with yet another war on the horizon. Two queens, sisters, are at odds. Tau continues to fight oppression, racism & himself. Winter navigates the storytelling, weaving our main POV in such a way that we learn significantly more about Tau, wielding two swords, limping along like the badass he is, while also introducing POV chapters from new characters, including some meatier female roles written with agency. The worldbuilding has expanded, giving us an up close & personal view of the layered intricacies of Xidda & the people that inhabit it. It's violent & grimy & brutal as hell. I talk a lot about action scenes in my reviews, but I'm honestly not sure how to compare Winter's sheer brilliance in the way he orchestrates a battle sequence unlike any I've seen outside of a Joe Abercrombie novel. Creating tension where there shouldn't be, the resulting conflict & inevitable demise that somehow gets flipped on its head, Winter masterfully lights a fire within. I can't help but hold my breath when reading those exhilarating scenes. Oof. Demons & edge of your seat action & gritty violence & DRAGONS!! The Fires of Vengeance is a sequel that blazes. This is a world with a diverse cast of characters in an intimate story, told on a grand scale with a deep sense of history, harsh realities & devastating consequences. The Burning quartet is just getting started & I'm eagerly waiting to see how it all unfolds! (Thank you to the folx over at Orbit Books for sending me this stunning copy!)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Izzie

    The Fires of Vengeance takes all the best parts of The Rage of Dragons and proves, if proof was somehow still needed, that Evan Winter is a name to watch in SFF. My only complaint is that it was too short, just as I was really getting into the plot and the characterisations - WHAM! it was over. But the journey itself more than made up for it. 4.5 stars! Thanks to Netgalley and Orbit for the review copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jake Bishop

    Evan Winter proves that he is here to stay. The Rage of Dragons was my favorite debut novel of all time, not an easy act to follow up. But damm Evan Winter did it. My Rage of Dragons review didn't have any cons, I also don't have any cons for The Fires of Vengeance. However I will be comparing The Rage of Dragons to The Fires of Vengeance. Difference #1 The Fires of Vengeance is more morally complex, and morally interesting. Reading this book made me ask questions about what is morally acceptabl Evan Winter proves that he is here to stay. The Rage of Dragons was my favorite debut novel of all time, not an easy act to follow up. But damm Evan Winter did it. My Rage of Dragons review didn't have any cons, I also don't have any cons for The Fires of Vengeance. However I will be comparing The Rage of Dragons to The Fires of Vengeance. Difference #1 The Fires of Vengeance is more morally complex, and morally interesting. Reading this book made me ask questions about what is morally acceptable, good, or bad. It didn't really give me answers to that, and that is what I prefer. Difference #2. The third act didn't quite nail the perfect mix of incredibly satisfying, and heartbreaking that book 1 nailed. This is really the only thing that makes me like book 1 ever so slightly more. (Actually Evan mentioned that book 1 has a 4 act structure, so it is actually the 4th act.) Difference #3 I think the characterization is even stronger, especially for side characters. This book has quite a few new characters, we meet some people we barely new, and it has quite a few characters still around from book 1. Evan Winter really nails giving all his characters their own motivation and agency. Those are really the main differences that I can think off. This maintains the amazing action, pacing, relationships, and insane 4th act that had my heart pumping(I could hear it as I read the book.) I also think the end of book 2 did a better job of setting up book 3. So I think book 3 has potential to be even better. I actually do think that Fires of Vengeance is an even better book then The Rage of Dragons, even if I enjoyed it ever so slightly less. The Fires of Vengeance delivers, and it gets the Burning by Evan Winter up to my 4th favorite series of all time, and for the first time since Wheel of Time I am considering replacing something in my top 3. 9.4/10

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Waworga

    The sequel didn’t disappointed me! Evan Winter once again delivered a dark, action packed, heart pounding story, he is definetly one of the best writer when it comes up to fighting scene! The story picked up immediately after the event at the “Rage Of Dragons”, I love how Winter gave us a bit of flash back in the 1st chapter just to refresh out memory in case we don’t really remember what happened at book 1, it was just so well written and clever Tau our main character…. Still hot headed, drive by The sequel didn’t disappointed me! Evan Winter once again delivered a dark, action packed, heart pounding story, he is definetly one of the best writer when it comes up to fighting scene! The story picked up immediately after the event at the “Rage Of Dragons”, I love how Winter gave us a bit of flash back in the 1st chapter just to refresh out memory in case we don’t really remember what happened at book 1, it was just so well written and clever Tau our main character…. Still hot headed, drive by rage and revenge but grow too in this second book by the story goes on, I love seeing him being more reasonable and think further rather than just act impulsively, his determination to reach his goal is unshaken! this time the story gave us more about the WOLRDBUILDING, I always being so curious about this demon/underworld ISIHOGO at book 1 so even tho I didn’t get much story about dragon this time, I love to read and learn more about Isihogo - an alternated colorless different world full with monsters and powers, there are also more political intrigue and gory scenes in this book that make my jaw dropped Another thing I love in this book is Winter gave us so many amazing badass female characters! Something that I didn’t see much at book 1 😍👏🏻 all the characters in this book are sit in the grey area, none of them are 100% good or 100% evil, everyone commited bad acts but also make them feel more real in the midde of war and battles I just wish the 3rd book will come out soon 😁

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ava

    WHAT THE FCK. HOW ARE THESE BOOKS SO PERFECT. I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE USED THE KINDLE HIGHLIGHT FEATURE AS LIBERALLY AS I DID WHILE READING MY E-ARC (thanks Edelweiss and Orbit) BECAUSE EVERY SENTENCE IS LITERARY PERFECTION. TAU REMAINS SO SMART AND BADASS IN SOME AREAS AND SUCH A CONFUSED LITTLE DORK IN OTHER AREAS (read: when dealing with his feelings regarding women, but he never handles it in a toxic way, just in a dorky way, the poor guy, i love him). THE WRITING IS PHENOMENAL. IF I WASN'T CR WHAT THE FCK. HOW ARE THESE BOOKS SO PERFECT. I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE USED THE KINDLE HIGHLIGHT FEATURE AS LIBERALLY AS I DID WHILE READING MY E-ARC (thanks Edelweiss and Orbit) BECAUSE EVERY SENTENCE IS LITERARY PERFECTION. TAU REMAINS SO SMART AND BADASS IN SOME AREAS AND SUCH A CONFUSED LITTLE DORK IN OTHER AREAS (read: when dealing with his feelings regarding women, but he never handles it in a toxic way, just in a dorky way, the poor guy, i love him). THE WRITING IS PHENOMENAL. IF I WASN'T CRYING OVER SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENING, I WAS LAUGHING BECAUSE THEMBA IS ICONIC AND TAU IS UNINTENTIONALLY HYSTERICAL AND NYAH ROASTS ALL MEN EVER. THIS REVIEW IS IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE MY BRAIN WAS IN ALL CAPS AS I WAS READING. THERE ARE DRAGON BATTLES OF EPIC PROPORTIONS, SCARY AF DEMON BATTLES, PEOPLE-ON-PEOPLE BATTLES, SOMEHOW WINTER MANAGES TO THROW SOME ROMANCE IN THERE WITHOUT MAKING IT SEEM CONTRIVED, NOTHING GOES RIGHT AND CHARACTERS I LOVE GET REALLY HURT/DO THE DEAD AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. FCK. GOD THESE BOOKS ARE GOOD.

  20. 4 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    You can listen to the review on my podcasts available on Apple Spotify Stitcher You can also watch it on Youtube Or read more like this on my blog, Digital Amrit 'The Fires of Vengeance' is the sequel to 'The Rage of Dragons'. The book is well written with a break-neck pace, but it suffers from 'sequel-i-tis'. The rebellion is crushed, Tau gets what he wants, but manages to screw up even more. But this is a set-up for the main course - The Cull, which we will read about in the next book. The feelin You can listen to the review on my podcasts available on Apple Spotify Stitcher You can also watch it on Youtube Or read more like this on my blog, Digital Amrit 'The Fires of Vengeance' is the sequel to 'The Rage of Dragons'. The book is well written with a break-neck pace, but it suffers from 'sequel-i-tis'. The rebellion is crushed, Tau gets what he wants, but manages to screw up even more. But this is a set-up for the main course - The Cull, which we will read about in the next book. The feeling is more of 'The Temple of Doom', and less of a 'The Empire Strikes Back', due to a lack of a compelling narrative. 'The Rage of Dragons' had Tau's quest for vengeance holding us enthralled. 'The Fires of Vengeance' doesn't have that core thread - it is more a sequence of events that occur. There are a couple of opportunities to change the narrative away from Tau - which would have been fascinating. Imagine the hero in the first book, becoming the villain in the next. But that doesn't happen. In the end, 'The Fires of Vengeance' is a gentle heat rather than an inferno. If you liked this review, please support me on Patreon and/or buy the book through the affiliate links. Amazon India Amazon UK Amazon US

  21. 4 out of 5

    Udy Kumra

    Well this book was amazing. RTC.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Kelly

    Get Evan Winter on the phone, I need to talk to him about that cliffhanger 😫 Amazing. The characters in this story grew in such believable and interesting ways. I understood the choices they made, even the choices I didn’t like, because it was exactly what they should have done. The plot and world building felt even more developed and realized than Rage of Dragons, and I especially enjoyed that now we are reading about the characters really going to war and dealing with betrayal and backstabbing. Get Evan Winter on the phone, I need to talk to him about that cliffhanger 😫 Amazing. The characters in this story grew in such believable and interesting ways. I understood the choices they made, even the choices I didn’t like, because it was exactly what they should have done. The plot and world building felt even more developed and realized than Rage of Dragons, and I especially enjoyed that now we are reading about the characters really going to war and dealing with betrayal and backstabbing. Love it love it love it!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    sol

    i - i jus- i just- i- I need this now, please i am crying i miss tau and it hasn't even been an hour EDIT: YALL THIS CAME OUT YESTERDAY WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH i - i jus- i just- i- I need this now, please i am crying i miss tau and it hasn't even been an hour EDIT: YALL THIS CAME OUT YESTERDAY WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  24. 4 out of 5

    James

    Fuck racism.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kinga

    oh my gosh we have a cover and it's gorgeous oh my gosh we have a cover and it's gorgeous

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fadi Antwan

    I’m not even a big fan of action-heavy fantasy, but the way Winter writes action and weaves one battle scene after another so skillfully simply blows my mind and truly brings to mind the word “epic”.

  27. 5 out of 5

    BeeButBookish ♡

    I’m gonna re-read this in a couple of weeks and then write a review but wow

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Read pretty much the entire book in one day. It's crazy, intense, emotional, and crazy. Read it. Read pretty much the entire book in one day. It's crazy, intense, emotional, and crazy. Read it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gobookmart

    Google news : https://news.google.com/publications/... The Fires of Vengeance is the 2nd Novel in the series, an African / Xhosa inspired epic fantasy. First novel “Rage of dragons” was one of my favourite ever debuts and this one is a strong, confident continuation. First novel was a tribute to Rage, and suffering, 2nd novel also brings pain to life. Through both novels, there is a basic topic of love. It’s said that incredible writers best work is possibly accomplished when in connect with their Google news : https://news.google.com/publications/... The Fires of Vengeance is the 2nd Novel in the series, an African / Xhosa inspired epic fantasy. First novel “Rage of dragons” was one of my favourite ever debuts and this one is a strong, confident continuation. First novel was a tribute to Rage, and suffering, 2nd novel also brings pain to life. Through both novels, there is a basic topic of love. It’s said that incredible writers best work is possibly accomplished when in connect with their feelings, fueling their best work. If so then something in Evan winters life controls his narrative, the novel is a symphony to his knowledge of emotional turmoil. The power all through the books is rooted in their feeling. The novel is not uncommon, the emotion is. Rage and anger, filled the plot and gave the novel life. passion came from its feelings, from the writers life experience and bleeds through in each page. Toward the beginning of The Fires of Vengeance, it soon become certain that agony becomes a motivator for Tau and his companions. Anger and love take a backseat to the new driving feeling. Tau, Jabaris and the others battle through the story. Showing now and again, different central feelings as the story powers on. The content is eloquent and practically hypnotic now and again. I forgot about time regularly as I became enchanted by the worldbuilding once again.. It’s difficult to portray the book. The story covers just a brief period. Their is nothing major happened, a couple of chase and battles, a little fight, a couple of others later but then nothing truly occurs. Simultaneously, everything changes. This book changes, in part from the tale of the person’s legend’s excursion, to the advancement of a group’s hero’s excursion. Fortunately it keeps on focusing on the hero, Tau. It’s difficult to explain the novel without spoilers, so I won’t. The feeling, it’s still as crude and merciless and painful as in book one. It’s the reason people will cherish this. Follow us : Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/GoBookMart1/ Twitter : https://twitter.com/gobookmart2 Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/gobookmart/

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    So the follow-up to The Rage of Dragons is in some ways a step up from that book, and in other ways a step down. I enjoyed Rage quite a bit, though I do recognize that it’s a very trope-y book. It hits many of the well-worn tropes, but (as a commenter on my review of Rage remarked) it hits them in exactly the right way. This book continues that trend of using tropes well - something I’ve said often is that there are no tired tropes, only boring authors. Evan Winter is far from boring. That being So the follow-up to The Rage of Dragons is in some ways a step up from that book, and in other ways a step down. I enjoyed Rage quite a bit, though I do recognize that it’s a very trope-y book. It hits many of the well-worn tropes, but (as a commenter on my review of Rage remarked) it hits them in exactly the right way. This book continues that trend of using tropes well - something I’ve said often is that there are no tired tropes, only boring authors. Evan Winter is far from boring. That being said, there were things about the first book that didn’t bother me there that did in this one. In particular, Tau’s impenetrable plot armor. I didn’t really notice it much in reading Rage - though in hindsight it’s obvious - but in this book it was everywhere, and that part of things got rather boring after a while frankly. But that’s a minor quibble. Overall this book was every bit the roller coaster that Rage was, and with a good deal of really excellent worldbuilding mixed in. Many of the questions I had about book 1 were answered (huh, turns out there’s more to the Noble caste being bigger than a better diet). Many more questions were raised, which is as it should be. One thing I particularly want to give Winter credit for: he leaned on the classic tropes in some truly intelligent ways. From the moment Tau set out on his quest for vengeance, I haven’t been looking forward to seeing him kill any of the individuals on his list. I don’t enjoy that kind of scene, where you see a character's righteous sense of anger turn bitter when they realize that vengeance ultimately isn’t fulfilling (you all know the kind of scene I mean). Winter manages to sidestep that entirely without shortchanging it. I don’t want to talk about it in any detail, because spoilers, but I was very impressed by how deftly he handled that. Extremely curious about book 3, which promises more about the Xiddeen, the Cull, and the demons of the underworld. Looks like Tau is in for a trifecta of suck, and while I’m sure he’s not looking forward to it, I certainly am.

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