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Usually when I'm enjoying a book, I want to get to the ending. It's very rare that I look at the "How far are you through the book" meter and get distraught because I Don't Want It To Be Over. This is that book.
The story of 15-year-old queen of Cahokia continues with more giants, monsters, secrets and rituals. Butler has created a rich world and sprawling cast of characters that keep this series cracking along. I meant to take my time reading it and draw out my summer book pleasure, but his pacing and storytelling skill tricked me into devouring it. We get more of the rise of Calvin Calhoun in this book, which was great. We get plenty of intriguing new characters and new challenges. I think we are at the point in this series where if you haven't started yet because you're impatient, you can pick up the first book knowing that you won't be waiting too long for the end of the series. Butler is prolific and rewards his readers with excellent books at a surprising pace.
The masterfully crafted vision of a magically-infused early America is cast fully into war and intrigue in the latest Witchy novel by DJ Butler. Ancient powers arise across the continent, the wheels of government are greased with corruption and blood, and sacred oaths are bent, broken, and reaffirmed. Sarah Elytharias Penn clings to life as her friends and allies seek out the Six Kings of the Ohio to save and empower her, while the vicious Simon Sword send storm and quake and beastkind in a never-ending assaulting against the land.
As ever, Butler weaves together a grand narrative of action, adventure, and myth, telling an exciting story filled with all too human characters, dialogue that ranges from humorous to heartbreaking, and that leaves you wanting to come back for more.
I've always loved fantasy stories set in early American history. My favorite would be the Alvin Maker series (if only OSC would finish it).
This series could end up overtaking Alvin Maker though. It is an EPIC series so I don't recommend for anyone not wanting to think or concentrate, as there are a lot of characters and subplots to track. Its definitely worth the effort though. Please start at book 1 as too much has happened to really pick up on this book.
The other nice thing is Butler isn't old and his writing pace is fast (1 book in this series per year plus other books/stories not in the series), so there doesn't seem to be any threat of the series not being finished like Robert Jordan or George RR Martin.
Baen always delivers for me. Has excitement, adventure and characters you can root for and care about. Likability factor is key for me. Far more than "relatable" ever could achieve. I have to have a reason and drive to follow the protagonists around.
This series is a no brainer.
Plus I am a sucker for hidden lore and this has it in spades. Mini mysteries to keep the reader turning the page.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 13, 2021
First, this review is based on the e-arc purchased at a premium prior to official release. E-arcs are not fully copy edited. Anyway, I'm taking the very unusual step of leaving a 5 star review for a book that I didn't actually finish. It's not Dave's fault that I couldn't get through the book, his writing is superb and gets better with every outing. This is a very, very dense, character and setting rich book that really took too much of my mental energy to work my way through and keep track of the various subplots. Again, not a complaint or knock on the book. There are almost zero one-off or one dimensional characters, so it's important to the overarching and the subplots to be able to keep a good mental track of who is who and why they are doing what they are doing. The settings are richly described, and the dialogue is crisp. With those caveats, I strongly recommend this book to fans of epic fantasy.
The story continues in good form. This book certainly gets muddy in both view and terrain, you will see quick bursts of important events from the many different characters. From across a varied political and cultural cast and a wide view of events transpiring across the alternative North America setting. Includes the excellent addition of an introductory chapter; reacquainting you with the events of the series books and who the character are, what they are doing and mentioning of terms that may have lapsed since the last books of this series (Child of Adam, Eve, Firstborn etc.). If you enjoyed the past books, you will enjoy this as much. Probably best to start the series from book 1, though this books introduction leads in better than book 2 or 3.