Requiem by Tim Marquitz

Rating 8.5/10
The Blood War is a trilogy that has come a long way.

The true enemy of Ahreele has been revealed.

Caught in a storm of war, Arrin learns just how little hope remains as he's forced to make a choice between his family and the world that so desperately needs him.

Requiem is conclusion to the Blood War Trilogy, an exciting book that has all the blood, gore and action that made me like the first two books. Marquitz goes all out with Requiem, putting his characters through the grinder one last time, and presenting victory / hope to characters at a very high cost. The big question is, are the group of heroes willing to pay that cost?

The story begins immediately following the events of Embers of an Age, with the hero Arrin standing down the entire Grol army. He has made his peace - his sacrifice will allow his friends and the meek Velen to escape with the magical O'hra recovered from the Funeral Sands and to regroup with their allies in the hopes of facing down the true enemy with their new powers. Surrounded by the Grol, and with death imminent, Arrin is given a small shred of hope when he spies a new race from across the sea desperate to enter the fray.

I've read a lot of Marquitz books and I have to say this book felt closer to Marquitz's other books in terms of style and characterisation, but was able to retain that dark epic fantasy feel. The action sequences are much more fluid and dynamic, the visualisation is as graphic as ever, and it all feels like it belongs as part of the story rather than tacked on for 'gross out' effects. The book just has this "coolness" factor, and it makes for pleasurable reading.

Despite Requiem being much better that the first two books stylistically, I felt like the plotting in this book fell a little flat, with the story and actions of the characters being overawed by a much larger and much more threatening story of the Goddess Ree. It's weird, because the plot is put together very well, it makes sense, it was well foreshadowed, but for me it felt like it just missed the landing. Without going into too much detail, there is a transition in the middle when the story changes from fight to flight, and while it makes sense in the context of the story for our heroes to run, it's just not as satisfying as it could have been.

The Blood War is a trilogy that has come a long way since Dawn of War, with Marquitz showing huge improvements in each outing. While the ending may have been a little flat, the overall journey was very enjoyable and is definitely worth your investment. Hopefully now that his epic fantasy apprenticeship is complete, we will get to see more of this genre from Marquitz.

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