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Veil of the Deserters (Bloodsounder's Arc #2)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  650 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
History, Family and Memory… these are the seeds of destruction.

Bloodsounder's Arc continues as Captain Braylar Killcoin and his retinue continue to sow chaos amongst the political elite of Alespell. Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail Bloodsounder, and attempts to counter this sickness have proven ineffectual.

The Syldoonian Emperor
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Night Shade Books (first published May 19th 2014)
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Jeff Salyards It only took me six months to answer this one. I really am awesome sometimes. No, the final book in the trilogy just came out: Chains of the Heretic.…moreIt only took me six months to answer this one. I really am awesome sometimes. No, the final book in the trilogy just came out: Chains of the Heretic. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 26, 2016 Bookwraiths rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

When I finished Veil of the Deserters, I declared loudly on Goodreads "Damn that was good!", going on to describe it as “one of the best fantasy novels I've read in a quite a while.” And after a few weeks to mull over my initial reaction, not only do I stand by those words but confidently anoint this book the best fantasy I’ve read this year. So let me explain why you should get on board this fanboy train and start loving Bloodsounder’s Arc too.

In book one Sco
Mark Lawrence
After two Jeff Salyards books I think I can safely say what characterizes them is:

i) detailed accounts of small scale melee conflicts, ranging from 5-50 combatants. Note, there are no superheroes in Salyards' world. Even the best fighter will be sorely tested by two decent opponents ... which is probably realistic.

ii) Rather wordy and elaborate dialogue, primarily driven by Captain Braylar Killcoin's input.

iii) Travel.

iv) The rather standoffish observation of our bookish narrator - Arki. This la
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

UPDATED: Interview with the author

I’m what you would call a book juggler, meaning at any given time you’ll find me with multiple books in my currently-reading list. From the moment I started Veil of the Deserters though, I ignored everything else on my plate, reading nothing but this book until I finished all 500ish pages of it in two and a half days. It was the only thing I wanted
Nov 11, 2014 seak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review, 2014
Veil of the Deserters is one of those sequels I've been dying to get my hands on. Salyards created this captivating world through the eyes of his protagonist, Arkamandos (Arki), and then made us wait two years to see more! Not only that, Scourge of the Betrayer, book one of Bloodsounder's Arc, was relatively short. It gave us a number of answers, but it left so much untold. I just knew the sequel would take this series to the next level ... or kill it.

Veil of the Deserters killed it ... wait, I
Read about the .... end of January, beginning of February (another better-late-then-never review)

Rating 4.5 (awww, hell, 5 stars)


"Bloodshed comes whether she’s invited or no. Pushy entitled bitch, bloodshed.”

In the "Deserters" we pick up right where we left off in Scourge of the Betrayer, with Arkamondos "Arki" the young scribe, Captain Braylar Killcoin and the rest of the Syldoon warriors, regrouping after the debacle of their last mission. They've suffered losses in their ranks, but there's
Bob Milne
Apr 01, 2014 Bob Milne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-heroic
Veil of the Deserters is everything I was looking for in the highly anticipated follow-up to Scourge of the Betrayer. What Jeff Salyards has crafted here is a rare sequel that actually manages to outdo the first. The stakes here are bigger (and clearer), the world-building is taken to a whole new level, and the characters really come alive. Paced exceptionally well throughout, it also has the kind of killer climax that manages to completely satisfy, while still leaving the reader desperate for ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Mia rated it it was amazing

3 July 2014

Dear Mr. Salyards:

I am constrained to write to you because I can no longer countenance your behavior which has decidedly placed me in considerable danger. While I normally espouse the principle --'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all'-- the gravity of the situation obliges me to register my protest no matter how distasteful I find the task.

I believe forthrightness to be a virtue so I shall
Milda Page Runner
Even better than the first one. We get up close and personal with Memoridon witches and learn how their magic works. Another layer of mystery added to Godsveil and I predict we will get to see what’s behind it in the last book. Impressive city of Sunwrack from within, Syldoon towers, manumision and how ‘Black Noose’ structure works – exciting stuff. And then just like in the first book - plenty of skirmishes, travelling adventure, bloody fights; dialogues spiced up with black humour, foul ...more
Jun 28, 2014 BookBandit rated it it was amazing
Veil of the Deserters is book #2 of the Bloodsounder's series. If you haven't read book #1, get it so you can immediately read this book right after. If you've read book #1, immediately get this book as the story arc explodes and shines here. (There is little to no-gap between books 1 and 2).

Book 1 was a promise, this second book makes good on that promise (imagine getting a new puppy, luxury sedan, [insert wishlist] and world peace delivered to your doorstep on Christmas morning) and as a bonu
Jenna Kathleen
Aug 28, 2016 Jenna Kathleen rated it really liked it
This series has some of the best fight segments in fantasy writing.

Arki is slightly less useless in this book than the first and as always, he is hilarious whether he is trying to span a crossbow or attempting to hide his acquired knowledge. Or just talk in general.

I loved the two new female characters - they are a great addition to the series. I loved all the worldbuilding added with the Memoridons and I hope there will be more of them showcased in Chains of the Heretic. There was a lot of gre
Feb 18, 2015 Joel rated it it was amazing
First and foremost - I want to thank Jeff Salyards for picking me in his contest, sending me this copy of the book before release date, and for following up to ensure I was happy with it. I also want to apologize, because I started reading this forever ago, and my paper book reading has all but skidded to a complete halt over the last few months. Normally I'd read a book a week or more, but I've taken around 2 months just to complete this one - and it was an exciting book.

Moving on - I really en
Aug 09, 2016 Samir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story picked up right where the first book ended.(view spoiler) ...more
Feb 11, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Can't believe the mighty good luck I've had reading lately, what with Joe Abercrombie's FIRST LAW trilogy only a last month and now Salyards BLOODSOUNDER'S ARCH. FIRST LAW blew my socks off and became an instant favorite. And this here trilogy is doing the same thing and hitting quite a few of the same notes but with it's own particular flavor.

These first two books have a strong Sword & Sorcery intimacy to them that I love. A more personal story. The cursed weapon and its man and their stor
Mar 09, 2016 Alissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
Some poets spoke of red sunsets as things of sublime beauty, prefacing good fortune or romance, but they always seemed to be foretelling some bloodletting, murder, or tragedy writ large for all the world to see, and never more so than now.
Mar 25, 2016 Freakout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
Bloody excellent fantastic !!! What a ride ...
Even better than the first one. Highly recommended !!!
Aug 04, 2014 Nathan rated it really liked it
I read this book, Scourge of the Betrayer. It was a strange little tale, fun and smart, and Veil of the Deserters (Bloodsounder's Arc, #2)ended without answering a single question I had about what was really going on. Rather than being annoyed by this I was intrigued; the scribe telling us the story was just as confused as the reader.

Turns out it didn’t matter, almost everything we learned in book one was suspect. Arkamondos, our lovable scribe narrating the tale, was taken in hook line and sink
May 22, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Salyards impressed the holy hell out of me. There’s no other way to say it. The first book was good, but it didn’t really blow me away. I can tell that Veil of the Deserters was a labor of love. Salyards really pushed himself to be the best that he could be. He used Scourge of the Betrayer as a steppingstone, a good start. He turned that good, solid start into something quite amazing. Honestly, in regards to epic, military fantasy, this is some of the best. Salyards really proves himself with ...more
Jun 04, 2014 Nickolas rated it it was amazing
VEIL OF THE DESERTERS is the sequel to SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER by Jeff Salyards, a Sword & Sorcery novel that earned a spot in our Best of 2012 lineup. The first book in Bloodsounder's Arc unexpectedly blew me away (so much so that I read it and reviewed it twice) and I've been waiting for the sequel ever since. In the time that has passed I've read a lot of books but SCOURGE has managed to remain vivid in my imagination.

I've also come to understand (if not completely agree) with some of the
Timothy Ward
Jun 05, 2014 Timothy Ward rated it really liked it
Review at Adventures in SciFi publishing
Podcast with Jeff includes giveaway of both books in the Bloodsounder's Arc. Ends Tuesday 6/10.

Veil of the Deserters has made Jeff Salyards’ Bloodsounder’s Arc one of the best Fantasy series out there. As the story has progressed, I’ve become more impressed with his gifts and convinced that anyone who enjoys Fantasy needs to treat themselves with Jeff’s books.

The story is about an archivist who has nothing and no one but his skills in writing and translati
May 07, 2015 Bibliotropic rated it it was amazing
(Full review here:

Long story short, you need to read this series. The second book is every bit as incredible as the first, and at no point was I ever bored or disappointed or anything but interested in the story moving forward so that I could find out what happens next, what developments are just around the corner. I certainly felt that way after closing the book; it ends in such a way that I’m practically salivating to get my hands on the next installme
Jul 30, 2014 Neil rated it it was amazing
if you can these good as any fantasy series anywhere. great characters fantastic story and swearing what more can you ask for. can't wait for more from Jeff.
Courtney Schafer
I very much enjoyed the first novel in Jeff Salyards's Bloodsounder's Arc series (Scourge of the Betrayer). So when I was offered the chance to read an ARC of sequel Veil of the Deserters, I jumped right on it - and boy, I'm glad I did. Scourge was a tightly-focused character study with an excellent blend of gritty, brutal action and thoughtful introspection. Veil keeps that same blend but broadens out the story's focus, as through narrator Arki's eyes we get a host of intriguing revelations tha ...more
Michael Fletcher
May 31, 2016 Michael Fletcher rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic book from Jeff Salyards.

Arki's growth continues and the pacing is pitch perfect.

“It is a good day for crossbows, Syldoon. A very good day.”

I can't wait to get into Chains of the Heretic!
Laura Hughes
May 19, 2016 Laura Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You'll be pleased to know that I’m not here to bore you with generalised, hyperbolic gushing about how much I’m loving the world of Jeff Salyards’ Bloodsounder’s Arc (I waffled on enough in my review of book one, ‘Scourge of the Betrayer’).

No, what I’m actually here to do is thrill you with *specific*, hyperbolic gushing* about how much I’m bloody loving this series.

(*Disclaimer: fangirlish gushing is an inadvertent and unavoidable side effect of reading this author’s work.)

‘Veil of the Deserter
originally posted at:

Last year I was searching for interesting reads, I didn't have that many book to read yet and by chance I stumbled Jeff Salyards debut, Scourge of the Betrayer. I really liked the premise of the story with a cursed flail and a lot of action, only later to find out that there was a much broader - political - scope to the story. One thing where Jeff Salyards excelled in for me was how the story was told. Via the narration of a young and
Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards was one of 2012’s most pleasant surprises in the fantasy field. The novel put a surprising twist on the burgeoning grimdark sub-genre by using an unexpected narrator, the inexperienced, bookish, somewhat timid scribe (Arkamondos) to recount the violent and blood-soaked adventures of a band of foul-mouthed Syldoon soldiers.

What happens when a young man, whose main experience in life consists of transcribing letters and maintaining ledgers for merchants, su
Jul 21, 2016 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
Well played Jeff Salyards. For a while there I was thinking the book was a bit slow moving as it seemed to taken forever to get to Sunwrack. However the payoff was worth it. The book was a worthy middle of trilogy book and sets the stage well for the final instalment.
Seregil of Rhiminee
Mar 31, 2016 Seregil of Rhiminee rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Jeff Salyards' Veil of the Deserters continues the dark and bloody story that began in Scourge of the Betrayer. It's an unputdownable novel filled with brutal happenings, dark magic and excellent characterisation. It's an entertaining and intriguing novel that hooks you from the start and doesn't let go until you've reached the end - and what's best, it leaves you wanting more.

Veil of the Deserters is a remarkably good sequel to Scourge of the Betrayer, becau
Jul 09, 2014 Mieneke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2014
Two years ago I was very impressed with Jeff Salyards' debut Scourge of the Betrayer . I enjoyed this tale of a young, naive scribe hired by a ruthless band of soldiers as their company's chroniclers enormously and I was looking forward to reading the second book in the series Veil of the Deserters. Unfortunately, due to the folding and subsequent sale of his publishers, Night Shade Books, to Skyhorse Publishing the publication of the book was delayed and we had to wait until a few months ago t ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Mihir rated it really liked it

Read the combined review ofScourge Of The Betrayer and Veil Of The Deserters over at Fantasy Book Critic
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Adventures in Sci...: AISFP Podcast 262 - Jeff Salyards 1 5 Jun 04, 2014 10:04AM  
  • Clash of Iron (Iron Age, #2)
  • The Barrow
  • Beyond Redemption (Manifest Delusions, #1)
  • The Free
  • The Shattered Crown (Steelhaven, #2)
  • The Heresy Within (The Ties That Bind, #1)
  • Sword of the North (The Grim Company, #2)
  • Knight's Shadow (Greatcoats, #2)
  • Unholy War (Moontide Quartet, #3)
  • Sworn in Steel (Tales of the Kin, #2)
  • Trial of Intentions (The Vault of Heaven, #2)
  • When the Heavens Fall
  • Tomorrow the Killing (Low Town, #2)
  • Road Brothers (The Broken Empire, #3.5)
  • The Whitefire Crossing (Shattered Sigil, #1)
  • The Dark Blood (Long War, #2)
  • City of Ruin (Legends of the Red Sun, #2)
  • Blood and Iron (The Book of the Black Earth #1)
I grew up in a small town north of Chicago. While it wasn't Mayberry, with all the doors unlocked and everyone offering each other slices of pie and quaint homilies, it was pretty quiet and sleepy, so I got started early imagining my way into all kinds of other worlds and universes that were loud, chaotic, and full of irrepressible characters and heaps of danger. Massive explosions. Tentacled ...more
More about Jeff Salyards...

Other Books in the Series

Bloodsounder's Arc (3 books)
  • Scourge of the Betrayer (Bloodsounder's Arc, #1)
  • Chains of the Heretic (Bloodsounder's Arc, #3)

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“It is a ripper. I would be disappointed if it simply nuzzled them and showed its belly for a good rub.” 2 likes
“And then, suddenly, we broke free from the trees. The rolling plain beyond was almost overwhelming in its openness, especially lit by a brilliant, almost awful sunset, the sky never redder, every cloud seemingly blazing from within, suffused with fire and vengeance, roiling, churning, nothing but fury in every direction. Some poets spoke of red sunsets as things of sublime beauty, prefacing good fortune or romance, but they always seemed to be foretelling some bloodletting, murder, or tragedy writ large for all the world to see, and never more so than now.” 1 likes
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