Review: The Pyres By Dylan Doose.

Hey Bookworms! So here we are my final review for the Sword & Sorcery box set. The Pyres. I read and reviewed the previous novel and novella and you can find those posts (Insert link here) and (Here). Now I started out thinking this would just be a good little freebie to read when I was drinking my tea or coffee in between chores and errands while my kids were at school. I had no real expectations one way or another as before having read the series I had never heard of Dylan Doose. I’ve had mixed emotions through reading these three books and this will conclude what I have to say until I get around to reading more of the series. With that said let me tell you what I thought of this one.

I mentioned when I reviewed Catacombs of Time the first two books left me with unresolved questions that didn’t get answered. Now I went into The Pyres praying for answers. The Pyres takes us once again back to that unlikely trio in the first book. A whole fourteen months after the final events in Fire & Sword. The time jumping between books really rattles me and throws me off a little. When things like this happen in novels I really find it difficult to follow everything that is going on. Thus it took me a while to get to grips with The Pyres.

Theron I have taken a bit of an issue with his character in this one, hes changed he’s colder and harder and not quite the same man as he was in Fire & Sword. Now giving the events in the first book I can see why some personality shift is essential. He went through a lot, he also lost a lot because he did what he felt what was right and noble. Which were prime motivators for his character at that point in the series. He suddenly no longer the same ethical and philosophical man he was in that first book. He’s cold, closed off and distant from his friends and companions and I feel this is quite a leap from how he had been. I think a bit more back story I think a lot more back story into what went on in those fourteen months could really help readers understand why he’s undergone such a massive shift in that time. There’s no sense of his thoughts or motivations as to why he’s distancing himself. Speaking purely as a reader I would have loved more insight into that.

Kendrick he’s also changed there are shifts in his character but I do feel he’s moving forwards from everything rather than back. He’s still striving to overcome the past and when he is recognised for that past in this book I could really sense in the descriptions of his emotions and reactions he’s waiting for some kind of retribution for those actions despite the good he’s done since then. He does seem to take a more laid back stance and following where Theron leads though it’s shown multiple times he’s more than capable of being a strong leader. I kept asking myself throughout this book when Theron was obviously so consumed by his own inner turmoil, why did Kendrick not take control of things. Steer the three of them back upon the bath they had been on?

Aldous is the one that I think has stayed the most steady in terms of how he was in the first books to this one. There are at points where he seems almost as cripled by the loss from the first book as Theron but he seems to bare it better. He doesn’t seem to let it cloud his decision making so much. There is a point in the book though where something in his character seems to snap and he lets the floodgates of his power open and it inevitably turns the tide. I didn’t think that would be the case in this book because it happened in the first book at pivotal moments and thus I felt it was sort of predictable. He does make some bad decisions which seem to land them in this situation in the first place. This is also consistent with his character I feel as compared to Theron and Kendrick he is decidedly less experience with life and fighting in general. I find it sad that out of the characters he seems the least dimensional in this book purely because other than raw power I don’t feel he’s grown as much as maybe the experience he’s had should have allowed him to.

Now one thing I did love that stayed consistent the female character, I say character as we only ever seem to get one main character thats female. Dalia in this book is a strong, fierce and capable woman. Much like Chayse in the first book she’s supported and never really underestimated by those around her. I like the fact that the female characters we do get an indepth look at so far haven’t been damsels in distress. What does annoy me if the fact that they never seem to stick around something always seems to happen to take these bad ass women away. I’d kill for Doose to give us a strong woman who sticks around. I’m holding out hope I still have a lot of the series to read. There’s a few surprises in store for Dalia’s character that I don’t want to give away but it totally rocked me.

Dammar, Leviatan and indeed the Patriarch. These seem to be our three main focus when it comes to the antagonists in this book. We never see Leviathan in this book at least not really but it is mentioned quite a lot toward the end. I want to know what Leviathan is capable and if they can stop him I think that alone may be enough to keep me going despite my issues with the book. Dammar is a god of creation and change mentioned throughout the book. At some point he’s referred to as a demon and he quite quickly becomes a far bigger problem than thought to be. Finally The Patriarch, such a hypocritical character tied to religion The Luminescent in the first book he leads the people in the city of Bravos. Now the The Luminescent are against sorcery, they fear it! This is why Aldous’ father was burned on a Pyre because he sympathised with those who could do Sorcery. I find The Patriarch to be hypocritical because we learn at the coming to the end of the book that he is in fact like Aldous a Wizard. Why would he support something that so obviously wishes to have so many of his brethren put to death for who they are? Once again the lack of motive, and backstory to the character irks me.

My final peeve, since The Catacombs of Time I have wondered where Gaige was going to come into everything. He was sent to find Aldous, Theorn and Kendrick. We see nothing of Gaige until towards the end of the book from a few passages in his POV. I had expected to have him feature far more heavily after we learned so little about him in the first book. While this addressed for me while I was introduced to Gaige in the novella. I would still love to know more about him as a character and the why of him having to find the three main characters. It’s all very thin on the detail and I’m not sure how I should feel about that.

We get introduced to another new female character in this book. Nephite a sorceress from Kendricks past. Yet another strong capable and deadly woman. I’m hoping we see more of her in the books to come, I’d love for one female character to be around for more than one novel. Otherwise this series is going to be very testosterone heavy. Which is something I can not really abide in a book.

I will be reading the other novels in the series when I get a moment to purchase them. I’ll let you all know when I plan on reviewing them I promise.

I’ll see you real soon bookworms.

Stephie X.

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