I loved diving back into the Dragons of Terra series by Brian Naslund, with the epic conclusion Fury of a Demon. Many thanks to Black Crow PR and UK Tor for sending me a review copy, all opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 02/09/2021
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: Commanding a devastating army of skyships, Osyrus Ward has conquered most of Terra. And to finish the task, he’s building a machine of unparalleled power. With it, he’d be unstoppable – and dragons would be wiped from the face of the earth.
Bershad and Ashlyn are leading a desperate rebellion, but they’ve been trapped within the Dainwood by Ward’s relentless mercenaries. The rebels pray Ashlyn’s dark magic will give them an edge, but her powers are well-known to their enemies as they draw ever nearer. Out of options, Ashlyn must embark on a dangerous mission to save her fledgling army – or be crushed by Ward’s soldiers.
Bershad was once invincible in battle, but this very power may prove his undoing. Now, with every new wound, his humanity is slipping further away. Bershad seems to be Terra’s last and best hope against terrifying forces. But to save the world, will he become the nightmare? (From UK Tor)
OPINIONS: Fury of a Demon takes us back into the rich Grimdark world Brian Naslund has created in his Dragons of Terra trilogy. This is a pretty epic finale to the series, tying up many of the story-strands, but also leaving a lot to the reader’s imagination. I think in that respect, this does really well as the final book in the trilogy, hitting that balance between revealing endings and closing strands of story while leaving opportunities for the characters to live on and grow further after the end of the written story – because what we read is always merely a snapshot of their entire story, not the whole thing. They have lives outside of the bits that the author tells us, and in my opinion, the best books are those where that becomes clear – and thus the characters become something bigger than words on the page.
I haven’t been reading a lot of epic quest-style fantasy recently, but even so, Fury of a Demon shows me why I love the genre. Brilliant characters who are pretty much all backstabbing bastards, though loyal in their own ways. Bershad, dragon killer (though, he doesn’t do much of that in this one) is one of my favourite Grimdark heroes, and Ashe and Kira are such non-princess-princesses that I love reading about. I do wish there were a few more dragons in this series called Dragons of Terra, and slightly less considerations of politics, but that’s more of a complaint on the level of principle than because it is something wrong with the book itself.
All in all, these books are fun and fast paced, keeping up high tension throughout in a dark and twisty world that throws shit at our protagonists left and right. It is not a kind series, but a very good one. If you like Grimdark, or epic fantasy that goes into the darker side, this series is for you.