Queen of the Skour: Book 2 of the Bloodstone Dagger
I’ve read and reviewed a large number of small press fantasy books in my time, and you can tell from the very first page how good the writing is, whether the author is a competent writer and if there’s a good story to tell. I’ve read many that did not pass this test. K. E. Barron is an author who overwhelmingly passes the test as you are immediately drawn into the story and the book with the opening sentences and paragraphs. In the first book of The Bloodstone Dagger, The Immortal Serpent, we met Jeth and Vidya and got to learn about this incredible world and know of the Overlord of Herran; in The Queen of the Skour the world is opened up with new delights and wonders, but also new conflicts and dangers.
The book opens with the Princess of Del’Cabria, Zephira, using her powers to spy on the Overlord of Herran and King Tiberius and see what they are up to but has her scrying disturbed by a spying child, yet learns that she is about to become a poker piece for the Overlord so that there can be peace. But then the Overlord of Herran goes missing and no one knows what happened to the Princess of Del’Cabria. Meanwhile, Vidya is dealing with her own problems, seeking revenge against the sirens who betrayed her, as well as getting back at the guy who’s earned her ultimate ire, her husband. And Jeth makes the ultimate call in sacrificing himself for the wellbeing of his people, turning himself into the Del’Cabria soldiers, where it seems all he has to look forward to is the noose that awaits him. How will he get out of this one? And what strange series of events will bring these characters together in search of Zephira, each for different reasons.
Sometimes the second book in the series can be weaker than the first, but this is not the case for the Queen of the Skour. Barron wonderfully balances small, intimate scenes with a couple of characters that burst with life and emotion; with epic, sprawling action scenes that cross swaths of the country. Details and descriptions are used well to entertain and inform the reader. Again the book comes with some wonderful maps to help show you where the characters are going, the towns that will be affected, and what’s at stake. And there are of course more secrets to be learned of the Immortal Serpent and the toll it will potentially take on Del’ Cabria. Who will rise? Who will fall? And who will ultimately survive? Queen of the Skour is fun, high stakes, big stage fantasy at its best.
|Publisher||Foul Fantasy Fiction|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|