I featured this novel on its release date, back in August, and I’d hoped to have my review out pretty soon after, but life got in the way big time, and I’m well overdue. However, it’s now done, and you can see it below.
The Hunter of Voramis is no more.
Alone with the bloodthirsty voices in his head, fleeing the pain of loss, he has one objective: travel north to find Her, the mystery woman who plagues his dreams and haunts his memories.
When he stumbles upon a bandit attack, something within urges him to help. His actions set him at odds with the warrior priests commanded to hunt down the Bucelarii.
Left for dead, the Hunter must travel to Malandria to recover his stolen birthright. There, he is inexorably drawn into direct conflict with the Order of Midas, the faceless, nameless group of magicians that holds the city in a grip of terror. All while struggling to silence the ever-louder voice in his mind that drives him to kill.
From feared assassin to wretched outcast, the Hunter’s journey leads him to truths about his forgotten past and the Abiarazi he has pledged to hunt. His discoveries will shed light on who he really is…what he really is.
Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…
The Hunter has fled his home, and new adventures face him as he struggles to find direction.
He knows what he is now – half human, half demon – but refuses to be ruled by the insistent demonic voice inside his head that he can never escape, or by the bloodthirsty dagger that feeds his lifeforce, making him immortal.
When he falls in with a pair of travellers, he has no idea they are demon hunters, but his selfless action in saving them from brigands reveals his true nature. Poisoned, stabbed, thrown in a deep chasm, and separated from Soulhunger, his former travelling companions believe him dead. But the Hunter is hard to kill…
Following straight on from the first volume – Blade of the Destroyer – this story puts the Hunter almost immediately on the back foot, struggling both with his inner demon and with a body no longer invulnerable to harm. While the start was a little slow – the understandable inner conflict and indecision caused by his unfamiliar situation carried on just a tad too long for me before a story began to emerge – but once the action started, I was drawn along, eager to know how the Hunter survived, and how he was going to recover Soulhunger to reclaim his fast-healing immortality.
It was a great move, stripping the Hunter of his physical prowess, focussing more on his struggle to survive like an ordinary human being, slinking around a city he doesn’t know, pitted against zealots he can no longer guarantee to outfight, and teaming up with a madman who nevertheless has hidden talents. And then there are the ghosts – the fallen – the souls of all those murdered innocents. Are they really there, or aren’t they? They certainly plague the Hunter, appealing to his developing sense of justice.
The action and violence rattle along, with plenty of blood spilled and villains killed as expected of a dark fantasy like this. The Hunter is a unique character – bred to be evil, but unwilling to give in to his nature – and Peloquin does a fabulous job of making such a morally ambiguous character relatable.
I did find some of the continual soul-searching a bit repetitive, and the oaths sometimes a touch clumsy though in keeping with this well-realised world and its rich history, which I look forward to learning more about.
I was somewhat perplexed about the Hunter’s eye – often described as ‘ruined’, but some passages implied he’d lost it completely, while others suggested it was still there but badly damaged. I also found my suspension of disbelief overstretched at the point at which he wraps his hands over his belly to hold in the guts spilling out, and yet still he survives and recovers even without the magic of Soulhunger. But that might not bother someone else.
Overall, if GrimDark is your bag, this book will supply you with all you want in a Dark Fantasy read. The book abounds with deliciously tantalizing hints of what is to come in future volumes, and yet has a satisfying conclusion to this individual tale. Recommended for readers who like their books violent and bloody.
I received an ARC in return for an honest review – all thoughts are my own.
Find my review of volume 1, BLADE OF THE DESTROYER, here.
You can read an excerpt on the original feature pace here.
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen/dp/1535388668/