Rating : 10/10
Warning : Valour is bloody gory and definitely not for the faint of heart.
This book was perfection ! I loved everything about it. It made me cry, it made me swoon, it made me grit my teeth and it tied knots in my stomach. I literally found nothing to complain about !
“You humans are all the same. Willing to live a lie, any lie, as long as it is prettier than the truth.”
While Malice was a long and slow introduction of the characters and of the Banished Lands, its kingdoms, myths and customs, Valour was literally a long journey! A bloody, action-packed and emotionally-charged journey through the warring kingdoms of the Banished Lands. The story starts soon after the last events of Malice and focuses once again on Corban’s journey.
The friends he’d made were not like that. He’d finally found a sense of belonging, of doing something right. It probably won’t last, he thought, but while it did, he would not be leaving. Not today.
But again, the story isn’t only about Corban. Like in Malice, the multiple and short POVs allowed to increase the scope of the tale and keep track of the multitude of other individual storylines taking place all over the land. The plot thickened, the myths becoming reality and I was delighted to see many storylines crossing, interweaving and splitting once again.
The Good Vs. Evil trope was still a central theme in this book but the line between good and evil often blurred depending on which side you stood in. Also another theme very present in this series, is how “the end justifies the means”. I absolutely love to read about how far some characters can go and how much they’re willing to sacrifice to reach what they deem ultimately good, honorable, or simply profitable.
It is for the greater good.
Three particular things I absolutely loved about Valour are :
♡♡♡ The characters : Their development was extremely well done : subtle, realistic and credible. It’s only when your reach the end of the book that you realize that they came an extremely long way from the starting point. All the characters were well fleshed out and their bonds and interactions were larger than life ! And often, either you love them with passion or you hate them with every fiber in your body!! And don’t get me started on the absolutely wonderful, fierce, strong and relatable female characters!! Well done there Mr. Gwynne ! :’-)
Source: Lawrence Mann http://lawrencemann.deviantart.com/ar…
♡♡♡ The battle and fighting scenes : Stunning! Gwynne undoubtedly knows how to describe battle scenes! Man! I was completely carried away and transported in the Banished Land. I was so immersed in those scenes, grasping all the details and almost hearing the battles cries, the screeching of the dying, the cawing of the crows… Which is amazing because I often have trouble picturing fighting sequences !
♡♡♡ The prophecy : One of the most important elements of the book! The wording of the prophecy was wonderfully mysterious and misleading, since book 1. And I enjoyed discovering the hints dropped by Gwynne here and there.
A solid second book to an addictive and compelling series! Unpredictable story, lots of twists and emotionally taxing moments and an epic journey!! I already recommend it to all Epic Fantasy lovers!
Review by Haïfa.
Read in March, 2017.