Happy Monday everyone! So I inadvertently took the last week or so off from blogging, but I am happy to be back today as one of today’s tour stops for The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter, which is hosted by Caffeine Book Tours! Be sure to follow along this amazing tour here!
Now, before I even get to my review of The Fires of Vengeance, this book is the second in the series. If you have not read The Rage of Dragons, this review will definitely contain mild spoilers for book one.
The Fires of Vengeance
Author: Evan Winter
Publication Date: 10 November 2020
Genre: Adult Fiction – Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit Books
In order to reclaim her throne and save her people, an ousted queen must join forces with a young warrior in the second book of this”relentlessly gripping, brilliant” epic fantasy series from a breakout author (James Islington).
Tau and his Queen, desperate to delay the impending attack on the capital by the indigenous people of Xidda, craft a dangerous plan. If Tau succeeds, the Queen will have the time she needs to assemble her forces and launch an all out assault on her own capital city, where her sister is being propped up as the ‘true’ Queen of the Omehi.
If the city can be taken, if Tsiora can reclaim her throne, and if she can reunite her people then the Omehi have a chance to survive the onslaught.
- Graphic violence
- Depictions of death, loss, and grief
- Depictions of PTSD and other mental health issues
- Depictions of suicide/suicidal behavior
- Depictions of chronic pain/suffering
I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous picking up The Fires of Vengeance because I wasn’t sure that I would remember everything that happened in The Rage of Dragons. Thankfully, Evan Winter was reading my mind because the first section of the first chapter is Tau retelling Jabari all the events of book one while he is in recovery thanks to all of the burns he sustained during battle.
The First of Vengeance picks up right where The Rage of Dragons left off. Tau has been named Queen Tsiora’s champion, and he must do whatever is necessary to protect the Queen from potential harm. He doesn’t get much downtime since a plot to usurp Queen Tsiora, at the hands of her Ruling Council, immediately unfolds. Much to Tsiora’s and Tau’s dismay, this unrest is the least of their problems since they get wind of even more dangerous threats lurking in both the Queendom and the underwold (Isihago).
Where The Rage of Dragons was mainly about Tau’s training, fighting, and revenge, The Fires of Vengeance shifts focus and really digs into the complexities of court politics as well as the stringent caste system that everyone follows. This allowed us to see a different side of Tau since his usual MO of running into situations with swords blazing would only result in loss of his comrades. I enjoyed this character metamorphosis because previously Tau would’ve resorted to blind rage and revenge when disrespected by higher ranking caste members who refused his council, but here we see why it’s imperative for Tau to alter his tactics in order to accomplish the Queen’s tasks.
I am still none the wiser when it comes to Queen Tsiora and Nyah, the Queen’s Vizier. While both of these two take centerstage alongside Tau in this story, the majority of their personalities and intentions remain elusive throughout this book. That’s not to say that they are uninteresting or that we don’t learn a great deal of information surrounding them and the Queendom, I am just still on the fence about the two of them.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there’s definitely a romance ship in here that sailed for me, and I was jumping up and down when it was confirmed. Unfortunately, you’ll have to read the book to see who I am referring to (sorry not sorry).
As far as the plot pacing goes, there were definitely moments where the story slowed a bit for me, but that was because we were gaining more information about the court politics or learning more about the underworld (Isihago). I felt that I had a much firmer grasp on the Isihago this time around. The world building in this story continues to be spectacular. It’s rich and immersive, and Winter leaves out no details. There is still lots of fighting, action, and gore (which by now we know that this author does not shy away from).
There’s honestly so much more to say, but I’ll be here all day so I’ll wrap this up. Oh, and like with book one, The Fires of Vengeance ends on a cliff hanger (rude). Now I am impatiently waiting for book three.
Thank you to Shealea from Caffeine Book Tours for the tour invite. Thank you to Orbit Books for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Grab your copy of The Fires of Vengeance below:
Born in England to South American parents, Evan Winter was raised in Africa near the historical territory of his Xhosa ancestors. Evan has always loved fantasy novels, but when his son was born, he realised that there weren’t many epic fantasy novels featuring characters who looked like him. So, before he ran out of time, he started writing them.
- Author website — http://evanwinter.com/
- Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17087338.Evan_Winter
- Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/EvanMWinter
- Twitter — http://twitter.com/EvanWinter