Book Review: ‘Unholy War’ by David Hair

Posted: 22 September 2016 in Book reviews
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In the third book in The Moontide Quartet, the crusade is well and truly underway. But there is much more at stake than conquest. The hunt is on for Alaron and Ramita who still have the Scytale of Corineus.

After the attack on the Isle of Glass, the two take the scytale to Teshwallabad. En route, they crash land somewhere in Lokistan where Ramita goes into labor. They are aided by Zain monks with whom they remain while Ramita recovers. There they learn new aspects of the gnosis which makes them stronger. When they get to Teshwallabad, the Vizier seeks to marry Ramita off to the very young Mughal Tariq. Talks end when Hanook’s estate is attacked. Their survival is shattered when they both lose something precious.

In the north, Cera is trying to break free from being Gurvon’s pawn. All her words aren’t enough to save the land she loves from the enemy so she does what they won’t: she listens to the people. This angers the local Godspeakers. She knows she is playing a dangerous game, but what else can she do? Especially when she learns that Elena is fighting against the Dorobon as well. When she tries to escape and rescue Timori, they are discovered after the recently befriended Coin exacts some revenge of her own. As she awaits her fate, the attempt to besmirch her backfires. Further north, Elena learns terrible news about Cera. But she and Kazim keep on fighting. They are nearly killed, but are saved by the Lamiae who help them defeat Gurvon. In prison, he reveals a secret that shocks Elena even further.

Both Cym and Ramon are also fighting to survive. Ramon and other survivors of the slaughter in Shaliyah have banded together under Seth Korion. They head south to cross the river to head north and out of Antiopia. They arrive at their destination to find the enemy already waiting. They defeat them and enter the city. Once they are ready to leave,they must race to outrun the sultan’s army. On their journey, they discover a camp of imprisoned Keshi. Why they are there shocks them. What shocks Ramon even more is finding Cym there in the company of a Dokken. She has survived up to now because of ex-Dokken leader Zaqri, who lost everything, and almost his life, to protect her. On their search for Alaron, the two sneak into a camp of imprisoned Keshi and end up stuck inside. After being unknowingly saved by Ramon, she exacts some revenge against Zaqri in the most hurtful way possible.

My Thoughts

Finally got around to reading and reviewing the third book in this series. Honestly, it just keeps getting better and better. I’m anxious to read the final book, which isn’t available until Oct. 2016 in the USA. Hopefully the library has it on order already 😉

The story has developed thus far quite nicely. While each story has it’s own climax, the story as a whole has almost reached the epic climax, which we sadly can’t read in the USA just yet (in hard copy that is). Anyway. The stories of various characters intertwine finally giving us a better look at some of the secondary characters like Kazim, Cym, and Ramon. I really like this branching out as it gives a more rounded perspective to everything that’s going on in Antiopia. Ramon’s story shows what’s going on in the actual war, Elena and Kazim’s story shows their fight against Gurvon and the Dorobon, Cym’s story shows the point of view of the Dokken (souldrinkers), Cera’s story reveals her personal and public struggles with religion and politics while actively trying to overthrow the Dorobon regime, and Ramita and Alaron’s story show them trying to unlock the secrets of Yuros’ most prized possession to save Antiopia from the invading army. Each story is so wonderfully detailed and so exciting that while I enjoy reading about the individual exploits of the different characters, I am impatient to know what is going to happen next to them all.

This particular volume really shows more of the personal lives of the various characters. I think this is great. Especially as there is a LGBT twist. Cera’s story and development as a character really shows a lot of the various issues suffered by LGBT people, people of colour, and women within a religious, political, and societal sphere. It’s hard not feel sorry for her as she struggles to deal with all these forces against her. What I like is that she recognises her mistakes and doesn’t shy away from the consequences of her actions. Like with betraying Elena. I really like Kazim’s development. As a character he shows how I wish more people could be. To many people are unwilling to listen to, let alone accept, another person’s point of view as valid. This might be because of religion and/or societal norms, as it was with him. Because of how he feels for Elena, he must reconsider his previous learning. By doing so he grows as a human being. I wish more people could be like him. Cym disappoints me. Now, I can understand her anger, but her viciousness is completely unacceptable. Going out of your way to hurt someone, leading to the unforgivable event she did, is never right. She doesn’t deserve to be saved by Zaqri.

I really don’t have much to say about the writing that can’t already be deduced by what I’ve said in previous posts. The story is engaging and well written and developed. There were a few issues I found, but otherwise all was well.

This series just keeps getting better. While I have been borrowing it from the library, it is a series I plan on buying at some point. It is filled with action, adventure, magic, love, danger, and hope. It shows all aspects of life that anybody can relate to. This is a series I cannot recommend enough. For adults though. Not kids/teenagers. Enjoy 😉

Buy on Amazon
Buy at Barnes and Noble


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