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Follow the Author
A Time of Dread (Of Blood & Bone Book 1) Kindle Edition
About the Author
John Gwynne studied and lectured at Brighton University. He's been in a rock 'n' roll band, playing the double bass, traveled the USA, and lived in Canada for a time. He is married with four children and lives in Eastbourne, running a small family business rejuvenating vintage furniture. Malice is his debut novel.
Damian Lynch is a voice talent and Earphones Award-winning narrator.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B06XFV83LM
- Publisher : Orbit (February 20, 2018)
- Publication date : February 20, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 5062 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 527 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,959 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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By the third book however... This is a book about stabbing, stabbing, this is a book about stabbing, stabbing... Oh sure, the occasional bashed skull, and bite and whatnot. It's a never ending series of melees, and battles on the way to the big final battle that we've been waiting forever for. Then there's there's some expounding about the basic simple theme of the book, with the chance to listen to various characters philosophize about courage and honor, and truth, and friendship! We get it. Please stop, it wasn't that tough of a concept really.
The POV switches every chapter, and we check on on the main characters in rotation, without fail, even when nothing is really going on of interest.
Grievous bodily harm. Everyone takes horrific wounds, and yet is up and about in the next scene, and battling through the "pain." How heroic, that they can work around severed muscles with that can do attitude!
It becomes tedious and utterly predictable. This would have been great if it was edited down to two books. As it is, I can't really recommend it, I know I won't be re-reading it.
I can not imagine anyone disliking this. However, I agree with the note on the book from Mark Lawrence that this will especially be enjoyed by people who like the early traditional style of ( I would add) Terry Brooks, Stephen Donaldson, early Ray Fiest, Tad Williams' Dragonbone chair series etc... There is not a ton of world building with complex religions and politics, even though there are several "groups" of individual peoples and some politics. It is not one of those novels where the unpronouncable names and cities and religions and such require a fifteen page roster to help you keep track.
The characters are individuals but directly connected to their cultural loyalties and mostly direct in their characters, though one will surprise the heck out of you at the end. Many of the characters are young people coming into their own and facing trials. This is standard fair for lots of fantasy, even for Jordan's Wheel of Time. However, the characters are not so simple as to be flat.
The third person narrative begins with several story lines taking place that will merge somewhat later in the book. But this is not confusing.
Some sword fighting with a tiny splash of magic. A few heads fly and one or two people get a sword in the gut. But nothing extensive or repulsive and no sex.
The writing is good here. This is not one of those books with all short and choppy sentences and lots more telling than showing. Mainstream fantasy readers will really enjoy this book.
A Time of Dread is just that. It is the beginning of the ramp up to something dangerous, evil and enough to fill you with Dread. The story starts a little slowly since we are following four different points of view. Since I’m used to reading a lot of fantasy that is a normal thing for me in the first book of a new series. Don’t worry though by the end you should be filled with plenty of dread and so many things will have happened that you will forget the first part was slow.
With the four varied PoVs we get to see a lot of this world from different perspectives.
Bleda is a prince of a human clan and taken as ward by the Ben-Elim (winged angel people) to ensure that his tribe is peaceful. He has a lot of insight into how the Ben-Elim politics work and how they use fear and their strength to almost hold every human tribe in servitude to them.
I liked how his arc showed what everyday life was like in Dressel and how the new threat on the horizon was affecting the Ben-Elim, it showed their long-term goals also in terms of the human tribes and how they are trying to control all of them.
Riv is also in Drassil, the Land of the Faithful, with Bleda. But she is from a family of warriors that train to fight alongside the Ben-Elim. Still we find that there is something different about Riv and following her PoV we not only learn about the inner turmoil between some of the Ben-Elim but also what they have been plotting for years. She is hot headed and quick to temper but fiercely loyal to friends and family as well.
Drem was actually my favorite PoV. He is the son of a trapper and lives in a sleepy small villiage when they aren’t on the road. But it seems like there are more and more people in the area that just seem a little off and not quite right. I loved his journey and the slow tease of the odd happenings out in the middle of nowhere. His journey from farmboy trapper to hero in the making was a really good one. Plus he was present for all the horrible things we learn about the Fallen and I for one was shocked by those revelations.
Sig the final PoV in this tale is a Giantess and while her faction also fights against the Fallen they do not like the Ben-Elim and stay separated from them. It is her tale that seems like would have tied into the prior series more. She is so likeable and ride a bear who seems like the best of both worlds being both a mouth and fighter.
The title describes this book great. There are some harsh deaths, horrible revelations and big twists that made my first read of a John Gwynne book truly memorable. Now it seems I must read the first series The Faithful and the Fallen because I now feel like I’ve missed out on a great author and an even more fantastic fantasy tale.
Top reviews from other countries
Set over 100 years after the events of the last series, the story follows four new characters in the same world but altered from the results of the day of Wrath.
From the first book of Malice through to this gem, it is hard to believe that John's skill at writing has become stronger and even more fluid. How his words can provoke so many different emotions throughout his books.
Somehow the last 20% of every single one of his books flies past with events always leaving you flabbergasted, awed, and with such a deep yearning for MORE!
It truly has been a blessing to delve back into the Banished Lands. Expect to devour every last scrap of knowledge that the author drip-feeds us of events that happened between the book Wrath and this work of art.
Anyone who is a fan of Fantasy, who is a fan of A Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings etc.. please, pick up this book and John's previous series 'The Faithful and The Fallen'. You will not be disappointed!
John's writing style, his lore, his characters and plots - he takes the crown for all. Take a rest John, before diving head first back into writing your next work of art!
My only complaint is that we will most likely be waiting a year before we are graced by John Gwynne's sequel to 'A time of Dread'. Please support this author, help fuel further works from him.
Truth and Courage!
If you are a fan of epic fantasy and you like multiple characters, well-researched combat sequences and intelligent beasts and birds, this is the book for you. It shows a thoughtful author (in terms of his profession and in his love for his family) who built his fantasy world in his first four books. Now he has returned to that world to begin a new adventure. I believe it will be a trilogy (so no waiting countless years for sequels).
I give this a huge thumbs-up, the easiest 5-star rating I've given a book so far. Buy it, read it, enjoy it!
Truth and Courage!
First of all I need to be honest and say I finished wrsth then immediately started this book so it started extremely slow. Not that it is slow but wrath had my heart racing as it approached the end and to go back to a new story was a shock. However, in true John Gwynne style the pace soon ramps up.
It took me a little while to warm some of the characters. But now that I have I can't wait to see how they develop through the rest of the series.
If you like fantasy this hits all the spots.
John’s style is clear and fluid, drawing the reader straight into the scene and action from page 1.
The story is told from the POV’s of four characters, each of whom are thoughtfully developed and steer clear of the character tropes we often encounter in fantasy. I especially enjoyed the non-stereotypical female characters of Riv (a well-meaning but overly tempestuous warrior) and Sig (a highly competent warrior-giant with a good heart).
I normally don’t get on very well with multiple POV’s (I tend to have favourites and feel annoyed when the story switches to a less interesting character). However, the four characters in A Time of Dread are each compelling in their own way, and the transitions between one POV to another is fluid and well-timed.
Gwynne weaves political intrigue with intense action in a way that is truly compelling, making this a page-turner in spite of its epic scale (I’m not knocking epic fantasy – but novels in this genre tend to be slow burners in my experience).
Violence in fantasy can often feel a bit senseless and white-washed, but Gwynne uses it well as a device for action and character development. Even so, be prepared for a fair bit of blood and gore.
This was an enjoyable, satisfying read that absolutely nails plot, character, world-building, and style. Highly recommended for fans of gritty, epic fantasy!