I’d say until about the three quarter mark this was a four star read but that last quarter was so amazing with so many good moments that it brought it up to five stars.
Tam is the daughter of band veterans, a warrior and a bard. Tam’s mother died when she was young and her father has kept her in her hometown where she works in a tavern, serving all the famous bands but not allowed to do anything herself. That all changes when Fable, led by Bloody Rose rocks into town looking for a new bard. With the few dangling threads from the first book, Tam finds herself in situations perhaps even more OTT than Saga found themselves in.
I’ve heard this compared to Almost Famous (one of my favourite films) and for the first part of it this is definitely true. Whereas Saga were past it (kind of), Fable are at the height of their fame and glory. Tam gets to tag along as they tour and get involved all kinds of mostly drunken fights and debauchery.
Bloody Rose is a great character though it took me quite a while to warm to her, she’s constantly under the shadow of her father, at least in her head, and she makes decisions that are very questionable because of it, endangering her and her bandmates. All the new characters are great, you warm to each and they feel a little more nuanced than the guys in Kings of the Wyld. The action scenes are really good, I can see the big budget Hollywood film in my head already. There’s even a bit of romance in this one as Tam gets a massive crush on one of the other band members, it’s both sweet and messed up at the same time, I enjoyed it!
This book was definitely more sombre than the previous one. Yes there some mad moments but everybody in it is so messed up, except for Freecloud, that there is a sadness running through it. Even the ‘monsters’ get more of a voice in this one as we explore what humans, and the nature of band tours are doing to them.
There’s a new horde in this book as well and you’re actually slightly rooting for them. As I mentioned it was the last quarter that made this book go from a good book to a great book. There were goose bump moments, more than one, and that’s one of my main barometers of a great book. I actually got another one there thinking back on a couple of them.
I’m not sure if there are going to be any more books in this series but if there are I will be buying them immediately or anything else he writes. These books have definitely been more than I expected.
5 stars out of 5