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

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Review: The Tyranny of Faith

The Tyranny of Faith The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second of a trilogy and was surprisingly better than the first book, the Justice of Kings, where the main characters were introduced in the hinterland of the Empire of the Wolf (an apparent nod to Rome). After thwarting the seditious plot of an obscure priest of the imperial Neman Church (which had a vague resemblance to the early Catholic Church), the heroes head home to the Imperial Capital city of Sova, only to find the Magisterium Order of Justices in disarray and apparently partially subverted by said plot against the empire. Life in the capital is wonderfully complex here and I quite enjoyed the world building here (which seemed to leverage a surprising amount of historical detail that was so gratifying with each new connection made … there was obviously a tremendous amount of background research here and it paid off in spade). Pretty prose and the inclusion and slight modification of archaistic terms and word play added another element of fun for someone that enjoys such.

The world felt like what might have come to pass within the Carolingian Empire if it have the power of magic behind it with the addition of Crusading Knights (specifically the Templars and their rumored history of heretical practices). Additionally the politics and intrigue was gritty AND felt frustratingly realistic at times as we see some of the character flaws of the main characters, to include pride and hubris. All of the main characters are independent of each other and the intersections and relationships easily believable, with some very interesting moral situations briefly explored. What magic had previously been fairly limited, is revealed to be much more powerful, dark and terrifying here, along with 9 levels of hell that seems to be linked to the practice and the larger plot is finally revealed to set up the concluding story coming next. Although hinted at early in the first book, this story gives us a breathtaking ride alongside the fall of the powerful Empire as it destroys itself from within.

By the end, I found the story to have ticked off nearly all of my own personal interests so that the whole trilogy has made it to my favorites list and I can barely wait for the final installment.

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheTyrannyOfFaith #EmpireOfTheWolf #NetGalley

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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.