Pilgrim’s Storm Brooding by Damien Black

Series: Broken Stone Chronicle #3 Rating: 4.5/5
Date of Publishing: July 30th 2019 Genre: fantasy, epic fantasy
Publisher: self-published Available: Amazon
Number of pages: 1048 Author’s website:

Quote of the Book

“Perhaps it was better to question nothing, Adelko reflected gloomily, to be a fool and wander through life in blissful ignorance.”

Blurb

One warlock has been slain, but the conspiracy of wizards he served is just getting started...

As Adelko embarks on his training for journeyman at the Argolian Order's headquarters in Rima, Horskram and his superiors try to work out who is bent on reuniting the Headstone and plunging the Known World into war.

Their revelations will take them back on the road again, this time to the exotic Pilgrim Kingdoms, where Urovian crusader lords live in uneasy peace with the native Sassanians. But as Adelko and Horskram are destined to find out, the murky politics of the Blessed Realm have become tainted by the sorcerous plot they are struggling to unravel...

With them go Anupe, Hettie and Adhelina - as the latter discovers latent powers that might be able to help the monks - while the knights Braxus, Torgun and Wrackwulf head north to fight in Thraxia en route to the mysterious Westerling Isles to warn the keepers of the third fragment. With them as ever goes the redoubtable squire Vaskrian, whose reckless ambition will have unforeseen consequences.

And on the Other Side, the Seven Princes urge on their dark prophet...

Personal notes

I received a copy from the author in exchange of an honest review.

 

Song of the Book

I picked a Shaman’s Harvest song for Warlock’s Sun Rising and I still think that band goes well with this series, so went with them again. This time, my choice of song is Long Way Home.

Review

Pilgrim’s Storm Brooding is the third instalment in the Broken Stone Chronicles series by Damien Black. This review was a long time coming, and since it’s been a while since I’ve read it back in the spring, so this review probably won’t be as long and detailed.

The scope of the Broken Stone Chronicles series was huge from the beginning and as the story goes on, Black keeps widening our horizon and feeding ever more plot, intrigue, adventure, magic into it without it ever feeling oppressive. Or you feeling lost in the middle of it all. As someone who is not much of a fan of classical epic fantasy, I still find myself enhanced by the imagery of Black, and the vividness by the world he creates.

We take up events right after we left them at the end of Warlock’s Sun Rising. The race for the broken stone fragments continue as well as the war between the kingdoms and the stakes are higher than ever. The company is broken up during the third book, smaller groups are being formed to go on their way, following their duty, calling, fate, or whatever we want to call it. Adelko and Horskram are heading to the south to find the fourth fragment, Braxus and his company goes back to Thraxia to fight for the throne, Torgun and the others are travelling to the islands to make sure the third fragment is safe. All the while the mastermind behind the uniting wizards continue weaving their little webs and pulling the strings from the background. Pilgrim’s Storm Brooding is a long book, so I’d rather not go into the plot as it would take a lot to recount. Let’s just say, you won’t be sort of excitement, adventure, magic, fighting and intrigue as well as some punch to the gut kind of surprises.

If you’ve got this far, you are already familiar with Black’s writing, but if not, let me tell you one thing: he keeps improving with each book. I had some pacing issues with Devil’s Night Dawning and I had a bit of criticism to Warlock’s Sun Rising as well, but I think Pilgrim’s Storm Brooding reads really well. And despite it being a monster of a book, it reads faster than I would have anticipated.

My favourite part was probably the Part Four, in which Torgun and company travel around accompanied by the Druids. Out of all of the places Black came up with, the Westerlings Isles my absolute favourites – Nuallan Hold with its magical atmosphere and cool ideas, which makes me wish I just go there and discover it for myself. I seriously could have spent twice as much time with this plotline just for the imaginery and landscapes and the myths surrounding it.

In terms of criticism, I still think these books should be shorter, but I also know it was a decision to keep it this long, which is fair, but keeping track of ALL the things can be a bit overwhelming. On the plus side, it has four, well defined parts so you can take a break and get back to it if that fancies you. I also wish we learned what happened to Vaskrian, because his plotline ended on a cliffhanger and arrgh, man I need to know.

Pilgrim’s Storm Brooding lives up to its precedessors and then takes things up on another level. We have all of our old friends back, but of course there are some new characters you might find interesting. I’m seriously awed what a vast world Black built within these pages which are rich with history, myths, and life. A truly epic fantasy story.

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