The Blackest Heart

Brian Lee Durfee. Saga, $19.99 trade paper (960p) ISBN 978-1-4814-6526-7
Durfee’s voluminous and highly imaginative second Five Warrior Angels dark fantasy recounts a complex and violent religion-based conflict in the medieval-flavored world of the Five Isles. Even readers of the previous book, The Forgetting Moon, will rely on this installment’s helpful list of characters, which is vital to untangling Durfee’s huge-scale narrative. The Angel Prince Aeros Raijael of Sor Sevier is attempting to dominate the Five Isles, and has begun to attack the kingdom of Gul Kana, which is led by vicious King Jovan. Nothing and no one can be definitively assumed in the narrative beyond that basic premise. Deadly betrayals and hideous tortures abound in gruesome detail, and while the elvish Valle and scheming dwarves play important roles, the tragedies of human war among three factions of religion—loosely based on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—hold center stage amid arcane prophecies and pervasive fanaticism. Squeamish readers may find Durfee’s assassins and their murderous ceremonies especially distasteful, but his cinematic shifts of perspective and his artist’s eye for shades of atmosphere propel this enormous tapestry of human frailties and will keep fans of dark fantasy turning the many, many pages. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/17/2019
Release date: 12/04/2018
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Hardcover - 960 pages - 978-1-4814-6525-0
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