Book 2 of The Darkest Hand Trilogy
MY REVIEW: 5*
Set in 1915 on the Italian Austro-Hungarian border during the 1st World War. The war between armies are ferocious, battles are bloody. The focus is on the Italian front, the Soco River in Northwest Slovenia. With Poldek Tacit incarcerated after the killing of a cardinal in the first book, the Inquisitors are torturing him. The Vatican is rife with conspiracy, no-one is to be trusted. Many secret meetings are happening, rumours are rife and trouble is brewing. The Darkest Hand has their own agenda, and their own plans. Demonic possession has increased, exorcism is getting more common, crows are massing in Vatican City, fountains flow with blood and a general feeling of wickedness and evil is creeping its way across Rome and beyond.
This story throws a lot of curve balls, and unexpected turns of events. Old friends and allies still remain, new allegiances are forged. Ancient rituals are once again being prepared for and performed. Races that have fought as enemies for centuries find themselves up against a common enemy.
This is the 2nd in the trilogy, I was concerned as to how this book would live up to the first, The Damned. There was no need for concern. It went straight into the fast paced action where the first book left off. There was no lull, no hanging around and at times no pause for breath.
This book is a slightly different beast to the first, it has less of its main character Poldek Tacit, he has his own battle to deal with. But you can feel his presence simmering away in the background as you read. It is a chance to get more acquainted with the characters that still have a story to tell. Again there are several stories twisting their way through the pages that culminate in a huge and explosive finale.
I love the fact that every character has a reason for being in this story, each person mentioned has a name. No-one is a bystander or an extra. This book puts you right in the midst of things, as I was reading, there were times I actually saw the fights and the chases. Being able to create a world out of words, so that I can actually see as i read is outstanding.
It is obvious that a lot of research has been done, as was in the first book. The descriptions of battles fought in the trenches, battlefields and mountainsides, shows great care and attention to historical detail, it is a credit to the author.
This is another I would recommend if you love fantasy, horror, historical, thriller and mystery. A mashup of Dark Fiction at it’s finest.
How am I going to be able to survive until the 18th May 2017 for the 3rd book The Risen. (Only 6 days at the time of writting this, but it feels longer.) I would like to thank Tarn Richardson for my copy of this book, I was lucky enough to win it in a competition.
1915. As the second battle of the Isonzo Front rages on the Italian Austro-Hungarian border, war threatens to engulf the Inquisition as dark forces muster amongst the most fanatical servants of the Catholic Church.
Prior to his murder, a desperate priest sends a secret letter to his brother serving in the Italian Army. Now this young soldier, destined for the horrors of a frontline high above the clouds, carries with him a letter which holds the key as to why terrible satanic rituals are being committed and by whom.
Drawn into this conspiracy and hunted by agents of The Darkest Hand, old rivals must put aside their differences to discover the contents of the letter before it’s too late. But unity comes at a price for this unholy alliance. While the war rages, old enemies return from the dead and conspiracies weave tighter and deeper still into the heart of the Vatican. Only Poldek Tacit, the most determined and unhinged inquisitor of them all, can hope to push back the forces of evil and unite those for good. But what happens when Tacit finds that the path he walks has already been prophesised and that where it leads threatens the very future of a world already on the edge of the abyss?
Paperback, 1st, 352 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Duckworth Overlook