Mark Lawrence's Reviews > A Time of Blood

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne
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it was amazing

Out Today!

From a short distance this book looks like one long fight scene, which isn't a bad thing as Gwynne writes very good fight scenes, all the way from duels through skirmishes to pitched battles.

There are, however, a good number of pauses in which more character is built, and in which the plot is thickened and stirred.

A significant part of the book is also the literary equivalent of setting out your soldiers, something I used to do a lot as a little boy, arranging my armies of Airfix troops against each other before beginning the slaughter.

In terms of the book this setting up is very worthwhile as it adds considerable emotion to the battles where warriors are scythed down in large numbers.

We see the developing conflict from four points of view, three on the good side and one on the "baddies'" side. It's true that the dividing lines are not entirely black and white, and that the Ben Elim have some skeletons in their closet (or in a glade in a forest as it happens) but it is still essentially impossible to buy into the mind set of the baddie who doesn't think she is a baddie. We're not talking Starks vs Lannisters here, it's more Starks vs Ramsey Bolton.

The main feeling of the book to me is fun, not in the Kings of the Wyld comedic way, but in the way that I enjoyed the fantasy books of my youth. It's straight forward fantasy expertly executed. I would say that Gwynne is definitely the closest we have to an inheritor of David Gemmell's mantle, and I am a big fan of Gemmell's books.

When five hundred giants on massive bears charge a demonic army with the Order of the Bright Star screaming, "Truth and Courage!" it's hard to be cynical, so I wasn't, instead I flipped through the pages even faster and cheered them on.

The title is no lie. It's a time of blood. Lots of it. And our heroes take a pounding as they fight the good fight.

If you loved book 1, like I did, then book 2 will not disappoint!



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Reading Progress

January 8, 2019 – Started Reading
January 8, 2019 – Shelved
January 11, 2019 –
page 32
6.45% "Lost the book for a while! :o

Turned out that it spend the day in school with Celyn, in the bag hanging off the back of her wheelchair."
January 16, 2019 –
page 48
9.68% "We're in the thick of the action pretty swiftly! Heaps of dismembered bodies, arrows flying, spears thrusting."
January 24, 2019 –
page 228
45.97% "So much blood!

Living up to the title."
January 31, 2019 –
page 375
75.6% "It's all gearing up for an epic battle!"
February 7, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by James (new) - added it

James Tivendale Great review. I need to read this very soon!


message 2: by phyllis;) (new)

phyllis;) You should James its a good book


Stephen Richter Ah, you fancy pants get the book early while I have to wait until mid- April? I want fancy pants too!


Michael Great review! I can't wait to dive back into John Gwynne's world of Giants, demons and twisted angels; with the humans stuck in the middle.


message 5: by Matt (new)

Matt Pierce How many books do you read!?!? lol


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