The Tyranny of Faith
I would like to thank the good folks at Orbit Books especially Angela Man for giving me the opportunity to read this awesome book and many others. I would also like to thank Netgalley and Richard Swan for writing such an entertaining and solid book. I read the first book in this series last year (Justice of Kings) and I was definitely impressed. If interested, that was one of my earlier reviews on this site so scroll down to check that one out. This will be spoiler free as it was just released and I don't want anything spoiled for those as anxious to read this as I was.
Trilogies are difficult. It usually is the second book in the series that takes a step back and is just all around mediocre, this was not the case with The Tyranny of Faith. This book was a breath of fresh air after finishing a lot of duds and seeing a lot of run of the mill medieval fantasy overpopulate the market. Before I get into what I liked about this book and it was a lot, here's a brief synopsis for The Tyranny of Faith taken from Goodreads.
A Justice's work is never done.The Battle of Galen's Vale is over, but the war for the Empire's future has just begun. Concerned by rumors that the Magistratum's authority is waning, Sir Konrad Vonvalt returns to Sova to find the capital city gripped by intrigue and whispers of rebellion. In the Senate, patricians speak openly against the Emperor, while fanatics preach holy vengeance on the streets.Yet facing down these threats to the throne will have to wait, for the Emperor's grandson has been kidnapped - and Vonvalt is charged with rescuing the missing prince. His quest will lead him - and his allies Helena, Bressinger and Sir Radomir - to the southern frontier, where they will once again face the puritanical fury of Bartholomew Claver and his templar knights - and a dark power far more terrifying than they could have imagined.
Characters- From Sir Konrad Vonvalt to Helena to Bressinger, Claver, Sir Radomir, all the way down to the supporting characters that don't get much screen time, each and every one was written with a different voice. Making characters come to life is one of the hardest things about writing a successful book. The majority of authors don't get to this level even through entire series. I mean there were characters in the Wheel of Time where they were rigid, black and white characters with no substance....through 15 books! Richard in his debut was able to achieve his characters voices very well which continued right on through to The Tyranny of Faith. Without good characters it doesn't matter how cool the plot is or the world-building, you don't got shit if you have flat characters. While reading this book I was reminded of Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin, where it doesn't matter as much what these characters are doing because they are so well written. I loved reading each and every character he wrote and this made the pages just fly by.
Plot Heavy or Plot Light? After reading A Justice of Kings I wasn't sure how this would play out, but it worked so well. This book had its own self contained plot but it fit in with the overarching theme. Too many times you see books attempt to do this well but come up very subpar. This book didn't come up short. This is one of the few books that I want to reread already. I almost never reread at least for a few years.
This book definitely went darker, but not in any type of off-putting way and it was very enjoyable to read. The eldritch horror aspect was a Chef's kiss. There were a few scenes where you just sit there processing what you just read. This definitely has been my best book of 2023 so far and it will be very hard to top it.
Some of the best fantasy protagonists and villians in the genre
Bressinger kicks ass
Follow Richard Swan on Twitter @Richard_S_Swan
Go buy The Tyranny of Faith now...
I don't give this rating much, I think I gave one or two books a 5/5 last year of all the books I read. Well this definitely deserves it.
The Tyranny of Faith 5/5*