The Siege of Abythos by Phil Tucker

(8.5/10) Filled with fast moving, twisting plots and loyalties with an amazing cast of characters

Phil Tucker’s third novel in his Chronicles of the Black Gate, The Siege of Abythos, was quite a wild ride. Each book in this series improves. To a large extent, this improvement is down to Tucker’s ability to craft convincing character arcs. This is epic fantasy the way it’s meant to be written, and I can’t wait to get to the next book in the series.

The world building in this series continues to be unique and intriguing in multiple ways. The way that the religious system interweaves with the concrete functioning of the world is believable and absolutely fascinating. In this third book in the series, we get more clarity around the magic system (though also plenty that has yet to be revealed) and we get to see even more of the world itself. To me, it felt like plot, characters, and setting all really coalesced in this novel. We’re definitely in the thick of things now in terms of plot and Tucker has done a stupendous job of keeping the plot fast moving while constantly developing new threats and new twists. The sense of development here is nearly off the charts. Every character is different at the end of the novel compared to the beginning. Every plot thread has been moved forward or wrapped up in a way that actually shifts things and moves another thread forward. It’s very well done. Tucker forces his characters through some crazy stuff, and he does it extremely well. I loved Audsley’s arc, in particular, as he has to come to terms with new found power and wrestle with his demons - both figurative and literal. Asho struggles with his identity since he has spent more time among Ennoians than his own people, to say nothing of how that fact alone is a tremendous challenge to Ascendency, the predominate religion. Iskra is forced to put all her leadership skills to use through political maneuvering and also comes to learn some important things about revenge. Tiron may go through the greatest changes, though they also tend to be the least action-packed. Still, where he finds himself in the end is absolutely incredible, and I have no doubt that his plotline in the next book is going to be a favorite. Tharok is Tharok and doing Tharok things the entire time. If you like well-developed characters along with your epic, twisting plots then this is a book you need to pick up!

There was, however, one aspect of the novel that just did not hit for me. Kethe’s arc felt very out of character, in a lot of ways. To begin, she spends the vast majority of the novel being reactive and doing exactly what she’s told to do with little defiance. This just felt so unlike Kethe from the previous novels. I believe we’re meant to understand that she had some sort of a spiritual experience which leads to this, but it didn’t seem that way to me. It felt like our defiant, fiercely driven Kethe was inexplicably compliant and going through the motions. The brief glimpses we received of the old Kethe were primarily instances where she was just being mean because other people weren’t as compliant as she was. I grew to dread her chapters as I was reading. This was all the more disappointing because Kethe had been amongst my favorite characters in the series up to this point. Note well, however, that this has a lot to do with my personal preferences.

The Siege of Abythos is filled with fast moving, twisting plots and loyalties with an amazing cast of characters. Tucker’s Chronicles of the Black Gate is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite epic fantasy series. If you haven’t read this series yet, you need to get to it soon.

Review by

15+

The Siege of Abythos reader reviews

8.5/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

All reviews for Phil Tucker's Chronicles of the Black Gate series

The Siege of Abythos

Chronicles of the Black Gate: Book 3 written by Phil Tucker

Lady Iskra and her followers have survived the onslaught of demons, forged powerful alliances, and are finally ready to wreck righteous vengeance on the Ascendant Empire. Y [...]

Published: 2017

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Iron Circlet

Chronicles of the Black Gate: Book 4 written by Phil Tucker

The war for the soul of the Ascendant Empire is coming to a head. Factions with fell intent move to undermine or destroy that which has stood for centuries, while armies mu [...]

Published: 2017

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

15+

More Phil Tucker reviews

Death March

by Phil Tucker

I sacrificed everything for my family. It wasn't enough. I lost my mother, and now I'm about to lose my brother.I've got only one thing left to gamb [...]

Series: Euphoria Online #1
Published: 2018

Score: 84

Our rating: 8.4 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Nightmare Keep

by Phil Tucker

I've managed to survive my first week in Euphoria Online. But I couldn't have done it without my new friends. Lotharia. Falkon. The Green Liver goblins. [...]

Series: Euphoria Online #2
Published: 0000

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.6 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Killer Dungeon

by Phil Tucker

I'm entering the endgame. Even as I gain new allies, new gear, and greater understanding of Albertus' true plans, the odds are growing more extreme [...]

Series: Euphoria Online #3
Published: 2018

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Empire of the Dead

by Phil Tucker

Acharsis has always loved long shots. But even with a perfect scheme and a handpicked squad of godsblooded grifters and fighters, breaking into the undead lord's Akkoda [...]

Series: The Godsblood Trilogy #1
Published: 2017

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Valley of the Gods

by Phil Tucker

Is victory worthwhile if it comes at the expense of everything you love?To avoid seeing the River Cities destroyed in their efforts to defeat Irella, Acharsis a [...]

Series: The Godsblood Trilogy #3
Published: 2019

Score: 0

Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Books you may also enjoy

Beren and Luthien

by JRR Tolkien

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2017

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Baptism of Fire

by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of th [...]

Series: The Witcher #5
Published: 2014

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Fall of Gondolin

by JRR Tolkien

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast militar [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2018

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Last Wish

by Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no o [...]

Series: The Witcher #1
Published: 1993

Score: 94

Our rating: 9.0 | 4 positive reader reviews

15+