A heavy hitter, this follow-up to a gruesome, sometimes funny, and riveting tale is a runaway winner.
Once again, Ben Galley has hammered out a stunning book which nearly eclipses its predecessor. It’s a story which only gets better with the telling. The pacing is relentless, and full of action on every side for each character we turn a page to. The situation has reached a boiling point, and most of the living and dead of Araxes have no idea that it’s about to blow up beyond any redemption and death will rule the land.
In Chasing Graves, we find the setting of players in the game and their parts to play, in Grim Solace, the game has truly begun. But whose game is it? Is it in the massive crowded city of Araxes with the ministries and banks which keep the money flowing? Is it in the Emperor’s court, where a recluse king and missing queen have left their heir playing a high stakes game in their absence? Is it the powerful Consortium of the mines in the desert? Perhaps it is in the Church of Sesh, the dead god whose disciples may be the shades who hold the secret to true freedom.
Our protagonist, Caltro Basalt, a bound shade, must play a part in all the games to find the answers he seeks. Freedom may not be the only goal he is now striving for, as he finds himself with an unusual ability for a shade. An ability that he may not want others to be aware of while he tries to master it. We are also introduced to a new type of binding in Grim Solace as well. Souls bound into inanimate objects are deadbound. Souls bound into living creatures such as dogs, cats, and birds are strangebound. Caltro’s first encounter with a soulblade introduces an entirely new character to the story, a sword containing a soul which he immediately nicknames Pointy. The sword has quite the part to play in Caltro’s story before long and it’s incessant rambling is a humorous counterpoint to the darkness of the book. So too is the part of Bezel, a falcon which has been strangebound, as his remarks at times are laugh out loud funny.
Nilith continues her flight across the desert, with the shade of Farazar and his rotted corpse as she is running out of time to get the body to a Nyxwell and bind it. She is pursued by bandits with an intense grudge and fights not only the elements in her efforts to reach her goal of the city of Araxes.
The machinations of Temsa , the soulstealer rising far above his station, continues through bloody murder and thievery as he lures himself into a false sense of security by way of his connection to the Queen-in-Waiting.
Grim Solace reaches and nearly eclipses the gripping tale which began in Chasing Graves. The more secrets that are revealed, the higher the stakes become. Whether he wishes it or not, Caltro Basalt may be the one who can keep Araxes from a doom of its own making.
Engrossing from the first to the last page, Grim Solace is a tremendously fun and riveting continuation of book one. The third will certainly be a must read.
Nothing is certain in Araxes. Not even death.
Stolen from the widow’s clutches, master thief and ghost Caltro Basalt must learn new ways to survive the cutthroat society of the Arctian Empire. His one hope for freedom and justice? A gift from the dead gods, who continue to beg for a saviour.
Breaking a soul takes time, and Caltro’s spirit is far from broken. Many try to weave him into their plots, but he is set on salvation by no means but his own.
As Caltro finds himself ever ensnared in Araxes’ cruel games, Nilith fights to survive the Dune Plains in her quest for redemption, Sisine continues her game of claiming ruler, and Temsa works toward his reign of chaos, one noble at a time.
The board is set. The players chosen. Who will win the great game of Araxes?
- File Size: 3292 KB
- Publisher: BenGalley.com; 1 edition (January 24, 2019)
- Publication Date: January 24, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07MHCBL83
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