Beautiful, twisted, gothic, tragic, unrelenting, magical, imaginative, intense, horrific, bone-chilling, philosophical, polarizing, comforting and warm, cold and claustrophobic, humorous, chaotic, cinematic, mesmerizing.
Oh... and quite simply one of the best books I've ever read. Without giving anything away, book 2 of David Dalglish's epic tale of two Half-Orc brothers will challenge your understanding of right and wrong by forcing you to empathize with despicable characters. It begs you to examine the way that a troubled and torturous past can lead someone further in to the Abyss, or send them seeking redemption from the light. These concepts are relatable to our lives despite the Fantasy setting, and will no doubt have readers drawing parallels to themselves and those they know and love.
While book 1 touched on this element as well, the sequel further establishes the theme of love and the pursuit of it at all costs, no matter how seemingly twisted and unconventional and how finding it is often both a blessing and a curse.
The Cost of Betrayal is brutally violent, shockingly dark, and often gut-wrenchingly sad. The strongest of readers will shed at least a few tears, but what offsets the gothic drama is the introduction of a series of wonderful new characters in Tarlak the wizard and his team of Eschaton mercenaries. This team that includes a magic priestess, and a deadly assassin among others help cement another important theme in the novel. One of acceptance and the power of friendship. This loyal crew is infectious in their desire to help and fight for what they feel is just. They also add an element of lightheartedness and humor that is missing from the doom and gloom of the first book.
It is clear that the author is passionate about the world he created and this makes reading the books even more enjoyable. This book will send you further in to Dalglish's fantastic world. You will progress with many unanswered questions, many hopes for what is to come, but more than anything else a need to know what is next for Harruq, Qurrah, their loves and their friends.
Review by Michael Gruneir
9.2/10 from 1 reviews
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