John Gwynne won the David Gemmell Morningstar for Malice, the opening novel in his 4-book series The Faithful and the Fallen. That series has enthusiastic fans all over the world, and when word spread that Gwynne was preparing a sequel series, Of Blood and Bone, it generated plenty of interest. In his review of the first volume of that new series at The Fantasy Hive, A Time of Dread (2018), Charlie Hopkins wrote:
Wrath was an awe-inspiring, frenetic finale to one of the all-time great fantasy series – The Faithful and the Fallen – and I’d just finished reading it when I heard John Gwynne’s new project would also be set in the Banished Lands, but a few generations into the future… If you’ve not read the first series, don’t hesitate to start here with this one and then go back later to read the “prequel.’ A Time of Dread is going to be on every ‘Best of’ list, and you’d be daft not to move it to the top of your ‘must read’ pile.
A Time of Dread was well received when it first appeared. Here’s part of the Publishers Weekly review:
Nice guys finish alive, and not always last, in this gritty but not grimdark fantasy of battling supernatural forces, set in a fantasy world where humans battle the demonic Kadoshim with the assistance of the Ben-Elim, a winged race of warriors from the ethereal Otherworld. Bleda, a human warrior-prince whose siblings are killed by a Ben-Elim they attacked, is taken hostage and raised by the Ben-Elim. When the supposedly defeated Kadoshim suddenly spring out of hiding with their own human allies and human-demon children, Bleda teams up with Riv, a fellow denizen of the Ben-Elim citadel, to take them on. Riv finds that the angels she knows often fight and scheme among themselves, their conflict instigated by the issue of “improper” human–Ben-Elim relationships. Separately, Sig, a bear-riding giant familiar from Gwynne’s The Faithful and the Fallen series, embarks on a solo quest to eradicate the Kadoshim… [Gwynne] avoids much of the cynicism that reduces epic struggles to mere realpolitik.
A Time of Blood, Book 2 of Of Blood and Bone, arrives next week from Macmillan (UK) and Orbit (US). It is 474 pages, priced at $16.99 in trade paperback and $11.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Paul Young. Read a lengthy excerpt from A Time of Dread here.