Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
In the start of a compelling new series, the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles creates an unforgettable fantasy world of warring giants and elemental magic.
In the city of Pelemyn, Fintan the bard takes to the stage to tell what really happened the night the giants came…
From the east came the Bone Giants, from the south, the fire wielding Hathrim—an invasion that sparked war across the six nations of Teldwen. The kingdom’s only hope is the discovery of a new form of magic that calls the world’s wondrous beasts to fight by the side of humankind.
I have been an ardent fan of Kevin Hearne since I read Hounded the first book in his Iron Druid Chronicles back in 2011. I was still working at the library then and I remember accosting every patron that I knew to be an urban fantasy fan, shoving it in their faces and somewhat hysterically yelling about how they had to read it. Okay. That’s a slight exaggeration, but I was a bit passionate back then about promoting books I loved. Oh hell. Who am I kidding? I’m still like that, only now all of you have to put up with me! Anyway, I digress. Knowing that after next year there probably won’t be any more adventures with Atticus and Oberon *sob* I was mollified when I heard that Kevin was embarking on a new series, starting with A Plague of Giants. And I was beyond thrilled when I was approved on NetGalley. Two weeks ago I dived in expecting to be transported away like I usually am with Kevin’s books, but instead I found myself for the first half feeling lost and confused and struggling to find my footing.
It starts promisingly enough, with an action packed first chapter, but I felt like I was being bombarded with too many characters in too short a time. The story itself is told by a bard who then relates the stories of the other characters. At the beginning of the book there’s a picture of each person with a brief bio which I think would have worked better in print form as a nice reference tool. Reading this on a Kindle though, it’s awkward trying to flip back and forth when you need a reminder of who someone is.
The world-building is simply phenomenal which isn’t surprising given who the author is. But as with the characters, for the first half of the book I found myself floundering with trying to keep up with everything. I think all the action involved ultimately added to the confusion and with everything combined, it just seemed too chaotic.
But then, two nights ago, around the halfway point something clicked for me and I became fully involved with the characters and their stories. I began to appreciate the diversity of the cast and their magical abilities. And for me anyway, this is when everything started coming together in support of the main arc of the story.
There is plenty of blood and gore, so if you’re squeamish, please be prepared for this. I think it’s entirely in keeping with the story, so I didn’t have any problems with it.
So, in the end, while I initially had a difficult time getting into A Plague of Giants, and at one point was close to the brink of tears at the thought of giving a bad review to one of my idol’s books, the latter half was so much better and I’m now looking forward to the release of the second book. For those of you who are fans of The Iron Druid Chronicles, don’t make the same mistake I did and expect this to be similar in tone and writing style. This is high, HIGH Fantasy, and I think if you keep that in mind you probably won’t struggle as much as I did.
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