Red Sky at Dawn by DA Adams (The Brotherhood of Dwarves series: Book 2)

This is the second in 'The Brotherhood of Dwarves' series and Crushaw, Molgheon, and Vishghu have liberated the Slithsythe Plantation, and now, they must make their way to safe lands before being caught and returned to certain bondage. Across the orc lands, they and Roskin recruit and train an army of freed slaves, for between them and freedom are thousands of well-armed, well-trained orc warriors.

Near the Pass of Hard Hope in the shadows of the eastern mountains, they make their desperate stand. But even if they succeed, Roskin's ordeal is far from finished, as he is haunted by visions of something awful back in Dorkhun.

This entry in the series read at times like a 'Spartacus' with dwarves and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The escaped slaves from Slithsythe are changed from a disorganised rabble into an effective fighting force.

As well as the usual Adams trademark of fast unrelenting action we learn more about King Kraganere, Roskin's father and the King's chief advisor Master Sondious. This outing also sees war declared by the dwarves on all the ogre clans so there is a lot going on but Adams manages to stay on top of everything and it is easy to follow.

What I also liked here was the change in perspective: The story is told from several points of view even an orcish one in the form of Suvene. This is an interesting plot device and it is always good to hear the other side. This adds depth and meaning to all of the mayhem.

Roskin is the impulsive hot-headed spoiled royal who through experience becomes a seasoned traveller and soldier able to empathize with the plight of the downtrodden and dispossessed. The 'royalty to renegade' sub-plot is handled with aplomb.

Adams has managed to find the right balance between background and action. Overall this is a much improved and more satisfying read than its predecessor. Like its characters the series has grown. Bring on number three!

First Published 2008 by Third Axe Media
This Edition Published 2011 by Seventh Star Press
ISBN: 978-1-937929-94-7

8/10 Like its characters the series has grown.

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