Veil of the Deserters PDF è Veil of PDF/EPUB ²

Veil of the Deserters AN OPEN LETTER TO MR JEFF SALYARDSAUTHOR OF VEIL OF THE DESERTERS 3 July 2014Dear Mr Salyards I am constrained to write to you because I can no longer countenance your behavior which has decidedly placed me in considerable danger While I normally espouse the principle if you don t have anything nice to say, don t say anything at all the gravity of the situation obliges me to register my protest no matter how distasteful I find the task.I believe forthrightness to be a virtue so I shall AN OPEN LETTER TO MR JEFF SALYARDSAUTHOR OF VEIL OF THE DESERTERS 3 July 2014Dear Mr Salyards I am constrained to write to you because I can no longer countenance your behavior which has decidedly placed me in considerable danger While I normally espouse the principle if you don t have anything nice to say, don t say anything at all the gravity of the situation obliges me to register my protest no matter how distasteful I find the task.I believe forthrightness to be a virtue so I shall not mince words You, sir, are egregiously cruel.The world of The Bloodsounder s Arc books is sprawling and often harsh While set in a different place at a different time, it is not difficult to relate to the plight of the people of the Empire A reader today would not be unfamiliar with the effects of poverty, a class system, or political struggle particularly to people so far from the fringes of power In Veil of the Deserters , you have expanded the world a bit and then a bit , only to put all these new places we have learned about in peril, making me fear for the citizens of towns that are mere pawns of those who wish to rule Even Syldoon, the seat of power and should rightfully be the most peaceful is a pit of vipers,volatile and incendiary thepowerful and wealthy it becomes.While there is certainly an abundance of action, you suppliedthan ample interaction and dialogue between the characters which revealed the most about their individual personalities There was an ease to the exchanges the mirth wasmirthful, the sarcasm sharper, the affectiontouching, the mourningsorrowful.In the Memoridons, you have created characters shrouded in fascinating and ambiguous mystery They could easily be friend or foe but what is certain is that they are anything but innocuous I have been wracking my brain and considering all angles and I still have not arrived at their probable place in the big picture , so to speak Even those who areeasily classified as our heroic band s foes are not entirely predictable Moreover, the means by which to vanquish such foes do not guarantee our band s victory There always seems to be a greater peril hiding just behind a recently conquered one.You gave me a window to the lives of Arkamondos, Killcoin, Hewspear, Vendurro, Mulldoos I am James Stewart, prisoner in my seat, with your book as my binoculars to watch how they pass their days Unbeknownst to them, I observed the inner workings of their lives routines, surprises, habits, emotional growth, disappointments, failures, victories While the Syldoon may be a warrior civilization, these men have proven to be muchthan just able warriors You revealed their souls by their beliefs, choices, actions, non negotiable moral principles, and failings Oh, how they failed Even with the best of intentions, they still occasionally failed, and with such dire consequences.Your worst transgression You made me like them, wonder about their fates, hope for their triumph, lament their failure.or loss, whenever appropriate If that weren t enough, you could not have ended this second installment on aprecarious cliffhanger I am left dangling without a harness, holding on with my fingertips Perhaps you should enlist Ms Courtney Schafer to educate you on the finer points of mountaineering safety.I fear there is a slight chance I have been a bit vague about the hazards you have created for me When Ven or Hew or Mulldoos is running from foes from all directions, I am similarly hyperventilating while they re running for their lives in the streets of Anjuria When Arki is cramping from holding up the crossbow, afraid to put it down lest it be an inopportune moment to do so, I am gripping my tablet so hard my arm is similarly going numb When Bray is racked by his particular affliction, I am similarly jittery and rendered inutile by the disquiet engendered by concern.All of the abovementioned circumstances have certainly not benefited my constitution Oh, my nerves If your objective was to cause torture and anguish well well done, O sadistic sir If you were unaware of this effect before, you can no longer claim innocence now You have stolen months, perhaps years, of my precious life already steadily proceeding towards death, but which journey you have now hastened considerably With great ability comes greater responsibility It is my fervent hope that this would give you pause and make youcircumspect in your next project I have consulted a physician and I have been assured that most if not all the adverse effects of the emotional anguish you have thus far caused me is reversible by the administration of the proper treatment i.e Book Three.What do you have to say for yourself, sir Sincerely,Miap.s Perhaps you could suggest to your publisher to give the proofreader formatter of the ebook a few Syldoonian lashings for numerous misplaced punctuations marks, typographical errors and missing lines when the font size is changed It is terribly disconcerting when all you want to do is read quickly to the book s conclusion Veil of the Deserters is book 2 of the Bloodsounder s series If you haven t read book 1, get it so you can immediately read this book right after If you ve read book 1, immediately get this book as the story arc explodes and shines here There is little to no gap between books 1 and 2 Book 1 was a promise, this second book makes good on that promise imagine getting a new puppy, luxury sedan, insert wishlist and world peace delivered to your doorstep on Christmas morning and as a bonu Veil of the Deserters is book 2 of the Bloodsounder s series If you haven t read book 1, get it so you can immediately read this book right after If you ve read book 1, immediately get this book as the story arc explodes and shines here There is little to no gap between books 1 and 2 Book 1 was a promise, this second book makes good on that promise imagine getting a new puppy, luxury sedan, insert wishlist and world peace delivered to your doorstep on Christmas morning and as a bonus we get a promise ofto come can t wait.I am a fan of good military fantasy, plot twists and unique magic systems as contained in this book but, where this story really shines is the characters The characters are well developed and I really enjoyed the interaction between these characters The dialogue is witty and funny and you really settle into the life of a company of grim soldiers who, despite their profession, shine as people Hell, I even thought liked the characters that were involved in the betrayals plot twist but we won t get into spoilers here and had myself lamenting, can you trust anyone I wholly recommend the Bloodsounder s Arc and liked how this book in particular really set the tone for a great series Forget 2nd book syndrome , this book builds upon and enhances the storyline nicely History, Family and Memory these are the seeds of destructionBloodsounder s Arc continues as Captain Braylar Killcoin and his retinue continue to sow chaos amongst the political elite of Alespell Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail Bloodsounder, and attempts to counter this sickness have proven ineffectualThe Syldoonian Emperor Cynead has solidified his power base in unprecedented ways, and demands loyalty from all operatives Braylar and company are recalled to the capital to swear fealty Braylar must decide if he can trust his sister, Soffjian, with the secret that is killing him She has powerful memory magics that might be able to save him from Bloodsounder s effects, but she has political allegiances that are not his own Arki and others in the company try to get Soffjian and Braylar to trust one another, but politics in the capital prove to be far complicated and dangerous than even Killcoin could predictDeposed emperor Thumarr plots to remove the repressive Cynead, and Braylar and his sister Soffjian lie at the heart of his plans The distance between favored shadow agent of the emperor and exiled traitor is an unsurprisingly short road But it is a road filled with blind twists and unexpected turns Before the journey is over, Arki will chronicle the true intentions of Emperor Cynead and Soffjian And old enemies in Alespell may prove to be surprising allies in a conflict no one could have foreseen 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum Interview with the author m what you would call a book juggler, meaning at any given time you ll find me with multiple books in my currently reading list From the moment I started Veil of the Deserters though, I ignored everything else on my plate, reading nothing but this book until I finished all 500ish pages of it in two and a half days It was the only thing I wanted 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum Interview with the author m what you would call a book juggler, meaning at any given time you ll find me with multiple books in my currently reading list From the moment I started Veil of the Deserters though, I ignored everything else on my plate, reading nothing but this book until I finished all 500ish pages of it in two and a half days It was the only thing I wanted to read.As a sequel, this was everything I wanted andIf Scourge of the Betrayer was the delicious appetizer, then Veil of the Deserters is most definitely the main course It s always great to read an amazing book only to discover the second one is even better, because while the first book was the perfect tease, piquing my interest and whetting my appetite for , here s where we really get into the meat of it.In my review of the first book, I talked about an air of mystery surrounding the direction of the plot The main protagonist and narrator is a bookish scribe named Arkamondos, hired by the formidable Captain Killcoin to accompany his band of Syldoon warriors on their journey to complete a mission We have very little idea of what the Syldoon are up to, since Arki himself is not made privy to the details of their quest Why these rough and tough soldiers require a scribe or in what capacity Arki would be employed is also unknown But in Veil of the Deserters, we get our answers We get them in spades.Not only that, the world building is muchsubstantial The author fleshes out the world and the characters in this second installment, providing a lotbackground information and history Arki s hunger for knowledge and his natural curiosity as a scribe is a great means to facilitate this as he growscomfortable around his traveling companions, they tell their stories and reveal their lives to him We find out that the old veteran Hewspear is a grandfather, estranged from his daughter in law after the death of his son We also learn that Killcoin has a sister, the Memoridon witch Soffjian who makes her first appearance in this novel The relationship between the siblings is complicated, and we re also in a position to find out why This book humanizes the Syldoon, showing the reader another side to these men, letting us see that they arethan just brutal warriors.I continue to enjoy these characters They fascinated me in the first book, and here they are evendeveloped What amazes me is Salyard s talent for making each and every one of them unique Not every author can do this I love reading dark fantasy featuring raw, gritty badass characters but sometimes a book can end up with a whole bunch of characters with practically indistinguishable personalities on account of how raw, how gritty, how very badass they all equally are Thankfully, the Bloodsounder s Arc novels avoid this pitfall I liked each of the Syldoon for different reasons Every one of them can stand on their own, displaying their individual quirks and qualities which can even extend to their behaviors and the way they speak, from Killcoin s emphatic yes to Mulldoos penchant for coming up with hilariously obscene insults Now s also probably a good time to mention just how fantastic I think the dialogue is, well written and sometimes injected with dark humor.Arki himself is a delight to have as a narrator He s come a long way since the beginning of the first book, evolving with every minute he spends with the Syldoon, every violent battle he witnesses He gradually learns to shed his old life to adapt to the new one with Captain Killcoin and his men, and it s interesting to see how the emotions war within him even as he growsloyal to the Syldoon and makes friends among them He s a stronger person in this book, both in the way he is written and in the manner he carries himself.Seriously, why aren tpeople reading Jeff Salyards He s outdone himself with this one The book all but throws open the doors to the world of the Bloodsounder s Arc, giving us better insight into its history, politics, religion and magic The sights and sounds getmagnificent The battles are bigger and better The story is far deeper now that all the cards are on the table, and Salyards isn t holding back any All around, this is an excellent book, exceeding all my expectations for a sequel Read about the end of January, beginning of February another better late then never review Rating 4.5 awww, hell, 5 starsBloodshed comes whether she s invited or no Pushy entitled bitch, bloodshedIn the Deserters we pick up right where we left off in Scourge of the Betrayer, with Arkamondos Arki the young scribe, Captain Braylar Killcoin and the rest of the Syldoon warriors, regrouping after the debacle of their last mission They ve suffered losses in their ranks, but there Read about the end of January, beginning of February another better late then never review Rating 4.5 awww, hell, 5 starsBloodshed comes whether she s invited or no Pushy entitled bitch, bloodshedIn the Deserters we pick up right where we left off in Scourge of the Betrayer, with Arkamondos Arki the young scribe, Captain Braylar Killcoin and the rest of the Syldoon warriors, regrouping after the debacle of their last mission They ve suffered losses in their ranks, but there s not a moment spared to mourn Arki s moment of noble idiocy concerning a certain young Hornman comes to bite him them in the ass The Syldoon and Arki are forced to make their stay in Alespell a short one If the angry Hornmen ,the suspicious and psychotic Baron Brune and the loss of Lloi the only one capable to heal Killcon from the side effects of wielding Bloodsounder , there s new trouble on the horizon two Memoridons, one of them Soffjian, Killcoin s sister no love lost between the two They bring with them Emperor Cynead s missive to abort the operation and return home at once without delay I ll try to be short Out of the books I ve read during my Goodreads hiatus last five months , Veil of the Deserters was probably the most satisfying let me check the list of books I ve read yep, confirmed Sure, I ve enjoyed Sullivan s Riyria books and Brown s Morning Star but this one, especially those last chapters in Sunwrack left me at one pointand again just.wow you know what I mean Have I found another favorite author It sure seams so In Scourge of the Betrayer things were a little vague Finally in this book we have some answers regarding the origins of the Bloodsounder, and we start to decipher the mystery of the Veil and the Syldoon charismatic leader, Killcoin We learnabout the tensions between the Syldoon annd the Memoridons they are at each others throats constantlySoffjian showed her teeth, though it was clearly vulpine And if you were any kind of man, I d take offense Mulldoos stood, laid his hand on the large pommel of his falchion You might be a witch, bitch But you still bleed, don t you With every moon But seldom else, Syldoon Seldom else The two of them stared each other down before Hewspear cleared his throat Well That answers that question pretty soundly, I d sayand we get to see Sunwrack, the heart of the Syldoon Empire As for the rest the writing style is to my likingI sat in our pocket of woods with Vendurro and the other Syldoon in our group and waited In my brief experience, that seemed to happen a lotin soldiering than the songs and tales would have you believe Rather than brave assaults, stirring duels, colossal clashes of armies, and heroic last stands that everyone so often heard about, it was largely proving to be cramped muscles, stiff backs, long stretches of boredom and inactivity or unremarkable travel, punctuated by brief episodes of horrific bloodshedArki and Killcoin were a little hard to warm up to in the first book but I think I ve finally found my footing with them in this one and I just love, love, love Vendurro, Hewspear and especially that dirty bastard, Mulldoos I have a soft spot for this rough sort of character, so it s no surprise hes s my favorite I want to thank the author for not killing those guys off it was a close call a few times and I was a nervous wreck I am curious what awaits them in the next bookHe stalked off into the darkness, leaving me with my thoughts, my fears, and my remorse Sparing the Hornman in the grass, sparing the captain s own life in the village of the dead each time, I considered them compassionate acts, simply the right thing to do I never imagined they could lead to tragedy and greater loss, compounded death and devastation That was a drastic failure of imaginationIt may not be a perfect book it was close to perfect for me but what a ride Recommended.Next one soon Veil of the Deserters is one of those sequels I ve been dying to get my hands on Salyards created this captivating world through the eyes of his protagonist, Arkamandos Arki , and then made us wait two years to seeNot only that, Scourge of the Betrayer, book one of Bloodsounder s Arc, was relatively short It gave us a number of answers, but it left so much untold I just knew the sequel would take this series to the next level or kill it Veil of the Deserters killed it wait, I Veil of the Deserters is one of those sequels I ve been dying to get my hands on Salyards created this captivating world through the eyes of his protagonist, Arkamandos Arki , and then made us wait two years to seeNot only that, Scourge of the Betrayer, book one of Bloodsounder s Arc, was relatively short It gave us a number of answers, but it left so much untold I just knew the sequel would take this series to the next level or kill it Veil of the Deserters killed it wait, I mean took it to the next level by killing it in the best way possible In Scourge, we only just find out the smallest bit about the Syldoons and their mission In Veil, things are opened up wide and suddenly the story is completely different The Syldoon are pulled out to return to the capital, but their mission is nowhere near completion Facing the undesirable question of losing all their progress or angering the Emperor Cynead is only the beginning of their problems.Veil is yet again told through the eyes of Arki, who also happens to be curious to a fault This gives us answers as readers, but also leaves us in his shoes to flounder through mystery after mystery.One of the best parts of this sequel was that we not only get to seeof the world as the Syldoon head back home, but we get a look into the magics The Memoridons are a force all their own and independently powerful, with a form of mind magic It s hard to tell where their loyalties lie and they bring a lot into the story.In the end, I m dying to readof this series Jeff, you re work called me and said you re fired No, don t ask why they called me, they just did Oh, and so did all employers everywhere, which means there s nothing else for you to look for There s just no chance, I already heard from them What s with all the questions Trust me.So I guess you have to make ends meet solely through writing Please write , right now I can t get enough.4.5 out of 5 Stars very highly recommended Veil of the Deserters is everything I was looking for in the highly anticipated follow up to Scourge of the Betrayer What Jeff Salyards has crafted here is a rare sequel that actually manages to outdo the first The stakes here are bigger and clearer , the world building is taken to a whole new level, and the characters really come alive Paced exceptionally well throughout, it also has the kind of killer climax that manages to completely satisfy, while still leaving the reader desperate for m Veil of the Deserters is everything I was looking for in the highly anticipated follow up to Scourge of the Betrayer What Jeff Salyards has crafted here is a rare sequel that actually manages to outdo the first The stakes here are bigger and clearer , the world building is taken to a whole new level, and the characters really come alive Paced exceptionally well throughout, it also has the kind of killer climax that manages to completely satisfy, while still leaving the reader desperate for.In wrapping up my review of Scourge of the Betrayer, the opening book in Bloodsounder s Arc, I said My only complaint is that this feels like less of a complete story andof a first arc in a longer book, the kind of opening installment that catches your interest but leaves you wanting to reserve judgement until you knowWell, you can forget what I said about reserving judgement, and stop waiting to knowSalyards gives us answers aplenty here, lifts the veil on the larger story, and pulls everything together in a novel that feels complete in every way With the introduction of his sister, Soffjian, we not only learnabout who Captain Braylar is, but we begin to understand where he comes from, and what it means to be Syldoon Their shared back story is revealed throughout the novel, a few pieces at a time, and proves to be as complex as it is tragic Soffjian is an interesting character in her own right, but it s in her role alongside Skeelana in exposing the reader to the secrets of Memoridon magic where she really excels.Arki really comes into his own here, stepping up as a man, a fighter, and as a force to be reckoned with in the army He still has a tendency to stammer and draw out his explanations, but he also has learned to stand up for himself against Braylar and the rest of the Syldoon He even begins to develop something of a tentative friendship with Vendurro, which adds a whole new angle to the story, particularly in revealing ahuman side to the old soldier Most importantly, though, we learn the Captain s true purpose in recruiting a scribe, and see him play a crucial role in the latter half of the book.There are some moments of morbid, gallows style humor to the tale that play well against the darkness of Captain Braylar s affliction, with his addiction to Bloodsounder getting worse by the page It s that addiction which leads to a well intentioned act of disobedience by Vendurro, Hewspear, and Mulldoos, and that simple decision to heal the Captain that proves to have significant repercussions in the story s final act There s also some softer moments throughout the story, with friendships and the tease of a relationship rounding out what we already know of the Syldoon.It s with the revelations of Memoridon magic and overall world building where Veil of the Deserters takes the biggest steps in escalating this second installment to a new level We get to seeof the wider world, including Sunwrack home to the Syldoon and learn about the deeper politics involved not just between nations, but between Syldoon Towers It s that world building that brings about the biggest twists in the story, and which sets up a climax that deliversthan enough wow to make up for thesubtle end to the first book It s an entirely satisfying conclusion, one that pulls together all the key plot threads in the novel, and which provides a stunning cliffhanger physically and emotionally for the next book.Not that the first book needs to be redeemed or anything of the sort, but Veil of the Deserters puts that story arc into a larger context, and opens up the larger tale that Salyards has set out to tell Definitely one of the strongest middle installments I ve read in a very long time, and just an overall fantastic read Highly recommended, especially to those who like myself came away from the first book wanting somethingOriginally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins Even better than the first one We get up close and personal with Memoridon witches and learn how their magic works Another layer of mystery added to Godsveil and I predict we will get to see what s behind it in the last book Impressive city of Sunwrack from within, Syldoon towers, manumision and how Black Noose structure works exciting stuff And then just like in the first book plenty of skirmishes, travelling adventure, bloody fights dialogues spiced up with black humour, foul langua Even better than the first one We get up close and personal with Memoridon witches and learn how their magic works Another layer of mystery added to Godsveil and I predict we will get to see what s behind it in the last book Impressive city of Sunwrack from within, Syldoon towers, manumision and how Black Noose structure works exciting stuff And then just like in the first book plenty of skirmishes, travelling adventure, bloody fights dialogues spiced up with black humour, foul language and soldier s philosophy hidden agendas, unexpected twists and betrayal Highly recommended for grimdark and military fantasy readers A must read for people who enjoyed the first book in the series He noticed me staring and smiled Not expecting a veteran killer to have a light touch, eh, Arki No, I replied quickly That is, I mean, I don t consider you a veteran killer He went back to his fine work, still smiling You are as ingenuous as they come, young scribe And if you aren t yourself convinced of the lies you spin, you can be sure your audience will be equally skeptical I wouldn t presume to tell you what context means to you, or argue the semantics of the thing, all I ll say is, I have killed men Less than some, butthan many On account of my advanced years and crafty nature He winked at me, but the good humor seemed to drain away as quickly as it appeared But a man who kills is a killer, no matter the cause or circumstance, regardless of whether it is a pitched battle among troops who are aware of the risks, or after too many ales in a tavern So, a veteran killer is a veteran killer, no matter how you dress it up or embroider itAnd just like that, the steel and command was back Or perhaps it was always there, a sword in a soft leather scabbard, and I d somehow gotten distracted by the delicate tooling on the surface and forgot that a bloodied blade was inside the whole time, just waiting to be drawn and used.The command is yours, for the moment, Captain But I must go on record as Objection duly noted, duly considered, and duly rejected and forgotten Anything else, Memoridon, or are you done meddling Revealing a cowardly deed is about the bravest thing a man can do Not saying it s cowardly, what he done, running like that Sure I would have done the same, or bawled like a babe before even getting to that deadhouse, had to be dragged there kicking and screaming But in his eyes it is Mulldoos spat in the grass Figured as much You were a man, I d call you coward instead of just a woman who meddles where she shouldn t and don t help out where she should Soffjian showed her teeth, though it was clearly vulpine And if you were any kind of man, I d take offense Mulldoos stood, laid his hand on the large pommel of his falchion You might be a witch, bitch But you still bleed, don t you With every moon But seldom else, Syldoon Seldom else Vendurro has the right of this The meaning of a thing always matters Always Oh yeah How do you figure Mulldoos asked There would probably be far fewer conflicts in the world if we all madeefforts for clarity of communication Nahh We d just understand why the other bastard hated us a little bit better, is allI sat in our pocket of woods with Vendurro and the other Syldoon in our group and waited In my brief experience, that seemed to happen a lotin soldiering than the songs and tales would have you believe Rather than brave assaults, stirring duels, colossal clashes of armies, and heroic last stands that everyone so often heard about, it was largely proving to be cramped muscles, stiff backs, long stretches of boredom and inactivity or unremarkable travel, punctuated by brief episodes of horrific bloodshed.Bloodshed comes whether she s invited or no Pushy entitled bitch, bloodshed After two Jeff Salyards books I think I can safely say what characterizes them is i detailed accounts of small scale melee conflicts, ranging from 5 50 combatants Note, there are no superheroes in Salyards world Even the best fighter will be sorely tested by two decent opponents which is probably realistic.ii Rather wordy and elaborate dialogue, primarily driven by Captain Braylar Killcoin s input.iii Travel.iv The rather standoffish observation of our bookish narrator Arki This la After two Jeff Salyards books I think I can safely say what characterizes them is i detailed accounts of small scale melee conflicts, ranging from 5 50 combatants Note, there are no superheroes in Salyards world Even the best fighter will be sorely tested by two decent opponents which is probably realistic.ii Rather wordy and elaborate dialogue, primarily driven by Captain Braylar Killcoin s input.iii Travel.iv The rather standoffish observation of our bookish narrator Arki This last element being what makes the books unique.This book, like its predecessor, Scourge of the Betrayer is very readable It s an odd mix of fast and slow Fast because there are as mentioned plenty of fights Slow because the plot and revelations unwind at a snail s pace until the last couple of chapters.If I had a problem with the first book which I liked it would be the same with the second which I liked , namely that the narrator, our scribe archivist, is so true to his role Actually on several levels this book is much better in that regard because Arki actually becomes useful in factthan that, for large parts of the book you might consider his role very important though ultimately he could be replaced by any competent scribe I think perhaps I just want Arki to want something I want him to have ambitions and desires, to plot and maneuver toward them His goals and wants are rather muted and abstract He would quite like a quiet life but then again that s what he s left behind and he makes no steps to gain one He enjoys translating and recording i.e his job And, I m glad to say, he shows an interest in a woman his awkwardness is amusing touching but it s certainly not a consuming want,of a healthy curiosity So in short, he s a twig in the stream.Much of the novelty of these books is in the outsider passive role of the narrator, but it s also a source of irritation for me I want him to want things I want some strong emotion from him, some involvement.I m being unfair Arki does shoot a number of people in the face and he is central to the translation effort which in turn is important to the most dynamic proactive element of the story, namely Captain Braylar.Really this book is about the Memoridons, the Slydoon Empire s memory witches, and it unravels all manner of world building and plotting in this regard, tying the captain s magic weapon Blood Sounder, the flail into the equation and setting up many and varied possibilities for book 3.There s a rush of stuff happening in the last 20% of the book the world building expands rapidly and we learn a considerable number of things about the empire s capital and the dirty deeds therein, with all sorts of excitement trouble unfolding The last 20% of the book is very different We move from a slightly claustrophobic focus on the small band of soldiers and their extended melees with various foe, to the innermost circles of the Slydoon empire with quick fire revelations and world shaking developments.Veil certainly felt less self contained than Scourge it s a middle book, building on what s been established, setting up conflicts for book 3 If you enjoyed the first book I think you ll enjoy this one it provides much of the same thrills experience, compensating the loss of novelty with an expansion of the scale scope depth of the setting and plot.The title may perhaps be misleading as we don t see the Veil and whilst it s mentioned a few times it certainly never seems to be a central pillar of the book.The cornerstone of the novel though is the band of Slydoon soldiers, their relationships, and the fights they get into Salyards writes a fine melee Join my 3 emails a year newsletter prizes Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths When I finished Veil of the Deserters, I declared loudly on Goodreads Damn that was good, going on to describe it as one of the best fantasy novels I ve read in a quite a while And after a few weeks to mull over my initial reaction, not only do I stand by those words but confidently anoint this book the best fantasy I ve read this year So let me explain why you should get on board this fanboy train and start loving Bloodsounder s Arc too.In book one Sco Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths When I finished Veil of the Deserters, I declared loudly on Goodreads Damn that was good, going on to describe it as one of the best fantasy novels I ve read in a quite a while And after a few weeks to mull over my initial reaction, not only do I stand by those words but confidently anoint this book the best fantasy I ve read this year So let me explain why you should get on board this fanboy train and start loving Bloodsounder s Arc too.In book one Scourge of the Betrayer, Mr Salyards introduces his readers to the young, scribe Arki, who accepts a commission to record the exploits of a group of foreign soldiers He believes it will be a break from his dull life chronicling self aggrandizing merchants and petty noblemen, but he might not have known everything he was getting into, quickly finding himself neck deep in secret, political intrigue Plus, his employer, Captain Braylar Killcoin, seems to be possessed by a cursed flail that bombards him with the stolen memories of those he slays in battle Not that Arki is complaining out loud about false advertising or anything From this unique embedded journalist beginning, Scourge goes on to weave a textured, realistic, and complex tale of Arki trying to survive in this brutal world of war and intrigue Quickly, he begins to become desensitized to the violence around him though he isn t comfortable with it and is forced to acknowledge the brutal pragmatism of many of the heinous deeds Captain Braylar and his soldiers practice routinely And through the simple process of not dying and not betraying his wary employers, he gradually is taken into the inner circle of the Syldoon warriors something that finally allows him and the readers of Scourge to start to understand all the things going on in the story Now, I realize some readers were put off by book one due to the slow developing story Even Mr Salyards has acknowledged in interviews that he understands this criticism of Scourge But where book one laid the foundation for Arki and Captain Killcoin s tale, Veil of the Deserters unleashes it in its full glory.The plot and character revelations come fast and furious in book two We learnabout Captain Braylar and his mysterious flailabout the personalities and history of the Syldoon warriors surrounding Arki andabout the immediate schemes and the long term ones that have lead these elite warrior to spend years away from their northern home.Deeper world building Where there were merely a few brief glimpses of this interesting fantasy world in Scourge, here there is so muchrevelations about its nations, their history, the mysterious Godveil, the world before the Deserter gods abandoned mankind, and Captain Braylar s cursed flail s role in it all Each piece of lore fitting seamlessly with the next until a vibrant, living world slowly begins to grow before a reader s eyes.Realist battles continue only they are bigger andfrequent And when I say realistic that is what I mean These are not Hollywood movie fights, where the hero kills twenty people without a scratch and without getting one hair out of place Nope, Mr Salyards carefully crafts well thought out and organic fights, where armor matters, numbers count, and the realities of brutal men hacking at one another with sharp edge instruments of death are not glossed over Not to say that Veil of the Deserters is a gorefest, because Mr Salyards doesn t overdo the blood and guts, but rather that he shows the realities of war in a medieval type setting People die hideous deaths Those that survive may be horribly wounded or maimed And those that escape with their life are scarred by the experience of dealing death and find themselves grieving over their own dead.Creepy magic users In Scourge the magic was rather sparse throughout and spoken of in whispers by everyone, but in Veil the Memoridon make an early appearance and are major players in the whole book And somehow, Mr Salyards is able to reveal enough about the memory witches to make them understandable but not totally stripping them of their mystery and inherent creepiness.Kickass female character While this is a testosterone driven series, Captain Killcoin s sister Soffjian is introduced and holds her own against all of the brutal Syldoon warriors instilling instant fear in all but the strongest men Plus, she is a Memoridan, which only makes her that muchinteresting.Syldoon political machinations Oh, yeah, readers get to go back to the capital city of the Syldoon Empire, experiencing all the brutal scheming of the warrior elite of the world, and through this change of scenery, Mr Salyards sets up book three of the series, which looks to be a great one.So after hearing all the great things about Veil of the Deserters and Bloodsounder s Arc, why are you still reading this review Go buy book one, sit down for a nice, intense read, get the world and the characters in your mind, then plunge into Veil where the story catches fire Look forward to talking to all of you after we read book three next year Next year, right, Mr Salyards The publisher and the author provided this book to me for free in return for an honest review The review above was not paid for or influenced in any way by any person, entity or organization, but is my own personal opinions


About the Author: Jeff Salyards

I grew up in a small town north of Chicago While it wasn t Mayberry, with all the doors unlocked and everyone offering each other slices of pie and quaint homilies, it was pretty quiet and sleepy, so I got started early imagining my way into all kinds of other worlds and universes that were loud, chaotic, and full of irrepressible characters and heaps of danger Massive explosions Tentacled aliens Men with sharp swords and thousand yard stares and secrets they would die to protect Clearly, I was a full bore dork.Royal Crown bag full of multi sided dice Check Blood red hooded cloak Check Annual pilgrimages to Renaissance Faires Check Whacking other curiously athletic and gifted dorks with rattan swords in the SCA Check Yes, I earned my badges, thank you very much.My whole life, I ve been fascinated by the fantastic, and of course this extended to speculative fiction of all kinds Countless prepubescent evenings found me reading a worn, dog eared copy of Thuvia, Maid of Mars it sounded so much dirtier than it was or The Frost Giant s Daughter high hopes for that one too well past lights out, flashlight in hand, ignoring the repeated calls to turn in That s as quiet and harmless a rebellion as you can have, and my parents mostly sighed and left me to it.So, no one has ever been surprised to hear that I was working on or at least talking about working on some sci fi or fantasy story or other But it took years of flirting with various projects, flitting from one to the next without the hint of complete commitment, before I finally mastered myself enough to finish a novel And longer still before I finished another one that was worthy of being published.But wonders never cease And here we are.My debut novel, Scourge of the Betrayer, is a hard boiled fantasy to be published by Night Shade Books in May 2012 It s the first installment in a series called Bloodsounder s Arc I m so excited I m beginning to annoy myself I am represented by Michael Harriot at Folio Literary Management, and couldn t be happier His savvy, smart advice has been invaluable on this journey I suspect he has a secret stash of 20 siders somewhere in his desk.I live with my lovely wife, Kris, and three daughters in a suburb west of Chicago I am indebted to Kris in countless ways for her steadfast encouragement, support, and thick skin in dealing with a prickly, moody writer I don t always like living with me, but she has a choice and stays anyway.And before you are tempted to mention it, I am fully aware that siring three daughters is certainly karmic retribution, particularly when they all transform into teenagers I cling to the hope of discovering at least one of them reading covertly in the middle of the night That kind of transgression I can handle.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *