I don’t normally read back-to-back books in the same genre, much less from the same author. I like to mix things up to keep my perspective fresh. What I like to do meant nothing, however, when I finished Crown of Ash (my review), the fourth book in author Steven Montano’s (@Daezarkian) excellent Blood Skies series, last weekend.
I had to know what happened next, so on the following Monday (it’s Wednesday morning as I write this review) I started The Witch’s Eye (Blood Skies Book 5). I tore through the latest installment of the dark military/fantasy series in just over two days, finishing the final chapter with my morning bowl of cereal today.
How was it? Wow. Better yet: holy freaking wow. Everything I’ve come to expect from this series was there: vivid, lyrical prose; visceral and brutal action ranging from swords and sorcery to blazing assault rifles; sub-plots that twist in unexpected and delightful ways; and interesting and deeply drawn characters — both newcomers to the series and established favorites that can somehow still surprise me even after several books.
All that, and … more, somehow. Wow.
There is so much going on here that any attempt at providing a synopsis is liable to spoil the story. A bare bones overview will have to suffice. The vampires introduced into our world after The Black — a cataclysmic event that fused our world and reality with countless others — have been held back from destroying the human race only because humans acquired the ability to use magic after the upheaval.
In an attempt to acquire magic for themselves, the vampires of the Ebon Cities craft The Witch’s Eye, a powerful object that should mean an end to the humans banded together under the banner of the Southern Claw alliance. The experiment does not go to plan however, and as the book opens, shortly after the explosive conclusion of Crown of Ash, locating the Eye is foremost on the agenda of both humans and vampires, their alien allies and assorted mercenary groups.
Former warlock Eric Cross is more interested in finding the members of his mercenary team, but that quest and finding the Eye quickly become entwined. Along the way the reader will learn much more about Ronan, a member of the team who has been an enigmatic but cold-blooded and efficient killing machine in the previous two books. Ronan’s story is a wonderful addition to the Blood Skies canon.
Interested in a dystopian fantasy series with a vivid setting, plenty of action, great characters who evolve, and thrilling surprises? Start at the beginning with Blood Skies and work your way through this series. You won’t be disappointed. For more of my thoughts on the Blood Skies series, see my reviews of Crown of Ash (Book 4), Soulrazor (Book 3) and Black Scars (Book 2).
For more information about Mr. Montano and his writing, visit his website, Blood Skies.