Series Review: Bloodsounder's Arc by Jeff Salyards
It's a trilogy! They seem to be a rare beast these days. I loved Bloodsounder's Arc and I have no idea why it took me 2 years to give the series a go. It languished on by To Be Read list until one of my Goodread groups read the first book as a monthly book club read last year. Jeff Salyards, who kindly interacts with readers on Goodreads, has truly made a stunning debut series and I'm looking forward to what Salyards has planned in the future.
Back to the Bloodsounder's Arc Trilogy and I'll stop fangirling over Salyards work. My overall series review after the jump. Non spoiler.
Our story is narrated by Arki who is employed as a scribe by one Captain Killcoin and his Syldoon troop. Arki may not have realised how dangerous the job was going to be when he first accepted the position. He'll find his life in mortal danger and will attempt to learn skills that don't quite fit his previous experience or occupation. As the intrigue escalates throughout the novels, Arki finds himself more and more ingrained within the troop.
Whether it's Ven's obsession with eating eggs or Mulldoos rough speaking, over time you find yourself liking characters that initially you wouldn't want to be within ten feet of their orbit. Each character is essential to the story and enrich the overall story arc. They are Killcoin's men and would lay down their lives if ordered to. This is a rough and brutal world, where the characters will need to fight to stay alive. Killcoin and his troop aren't the only players on the field.
Killcoin is on a mysterious mission and Arki is fed information piecemeal. He tries to work out what his happening by asking a lot of questions. Sometimes to the frustration of his companions. Though how else is Arki to glean information if he isn't inquisitive. Killcoin is such a fascinating character. For a while we don't know why he acts so mysterious, even though his close confidants are in the know. As Arki is intrigued by what is going on around him, the reader is as well. Salyards pulls you in, so that you want to uncover the secrets that some of the characters are hiding. We want to know why there is such mystery surrounding Killcoin and the flail he carries. Why is Killcoin and his Syldoon's trying to hide the truth? Will Arki's persistence pay off?
My only criticism of the series was at times in the first half of Veil of the Deserters and Chains of the Heretic some scenes did feel a little bit longer than they needed to be. There were a couple of times in Chains of the Heretic where I couldn't see how all the loose ends could possibly be tied up in the number of pages remaining. However my fears were unjustified.
A true highlight of this series is that I promise you it has a very satisfying conclusion. In fact it's one of the best conclusions I've read. It didn't leave me hankering for more, but left me very contented as to where our characters now were. It's not often you can say that these days. Salyards deftly ties up all his loose ends in such a concise fashion. The reader isn't left with a million and one questions that are never answered.
Oh, did mention that it's a trilogy!!! It's all wrapped up in just three books. Though I think Salyards sucks you in with the first book as it is only 250 pages in the version I read. The next two books are progressively longer, but they're not 800 page plus tomes. The books are long enough to propel you into the Syldoon Empire and to get the reader involved in the story arc. Give Salyards trilogy a try. It might just be the fantasy trilogy for you. I rated the series 4 / 5.
Bloodsounder's Arc Trilogy in series order
1. Scourge of the Betrayer
2. Veil of the Deserters
3. Chains of the Heretic
Let me know any new fantasy authors you have recently discovered below.