Saturday, June 23, 2018

Winter's King

Winter's King by Bryce O'Connor

The third entry of author Bryce O’Connor’s The Wings of War series, like its predecessor, occurs entirely within the year 861 v.S. (ver Syul), opening with Egard Rost instructing Kareth Grahst, the youngest general of the Kayle’s army, about his faith. The main chapters commence with the atherian, dragon-like protagonist, Raz i’Syul Arro, simultaneously hot and cold, wanting a group of men to take him to Ystréd, although they subjugate him instead. Meanwhile, the Priest Talo Brahnt converses with fellow vicar Carro al’Dor, wondering about how Raz fares on his own.

The action quickly goes to the mercenaries that captured Raz, with a female surgeon named Evalyn, Eva for short, fascinated by the atherian. The young priestess Syrah Brahnt ultimately departs on her own, soon entering the lands of the Kayle, meeting Egard Rost, who follows the Stone Gods, along with Kareth, who considers her the White Witch, with her religion not recognized in his domain. For most of the novel, Syrah finds herself in the captivity of the Kayle warlord Gûlraht Baoill, who ultimately leads a march against the Laorin temple towards the end of the novel.

Raz, Carro, and Talo depart on a rescue mission for Syrah, encountering many obstacles in their way such as a bear-like creature known as an ursalus. The High Citadel is gradually breached throughout the story, terminating with a duel between the atherian and Gûlraht, the book concluding satisfactorily, although there is confusion about whether the Goatmen are anthropomorphic goats or humans that happen to sport the animalian term. Even so, those that enjoyed the book’s predecessors will likely enjoy the tertiary installment, which is very much for adults only, given gore and profanity.

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