My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Review: The Pyres: Sword and Sorcery #3

The Pyres: Sword and Sorcery #3 The Pyres: Sword and Sorcery #3 by Dylan Doose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Performance: ****
Story: ***

Although this is the third book in the series, this story picks up shortly after the events of the first book, Fire And Sword (available on Kindle Unlimited, so I recommend you read that first). The World-building is GrimDark and occasionally more course that I liked, but over all does a fair job navigating sensibilities (although some of the more grotesque/sensational details were a tad off putting). The setting is centered upon a powerful church/religion in a struggle against the corruption dark sorcery (so naturally all magic is condemned). That makes life for at least one of the protagonist a bit dicey, since he is a fire mage and former church monk. The other two are a disgraced crusader (with an iron fist) and a one-eyed rogue that provide the muscle for the teams purported monster hunting activity.

And that is where this story begins … right in the middle of a war between gods (The Luminescent) and demons (Dammar) and their avatars, The Patriarch and the Dog Eater. But this is a dark story, so the good guys have a dark secret and the bad guys seem to have a legitimate bone to pick (they just do it with monsters) … so we get our three (3) antiheroes to walk the line between. And The Pyres … the fires that burn sinners and pagans every “First Day” festival. After each chapter we also get an interlude that provides flash backs, out of sequence dialog and fortune cookie wisdom from some dude's diary/prophesy that may or may not have any direct impact on the evolving storyline. You do get a few surprises along the way … just to keep you motivated to continue. Ultimately it is the narration that saves what is otherwise a fairly typically fantasy.

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#ThePyres #SwordAndSorcery #FreeAudiobookCodes #KindleUnlimited

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.