Book Review


João F. Silva




One breath. One jump. One death.

The Known World is in peril once again. Old grudges are made anew and settled only on the battlefield, with threads of smoke flowing in the air.

Gimlore saved her town and her family, and she has even learned that trusting people may not always be a bad thing. But with ancient powers stirring, her whole world is shaken again, and the pains of the past come back stronger than ever.

Rednow's retirement plan was successful but didn't last long. He is both in the eye of the storm, and the storm itself. Blessed or cursed by powers he wants to reject, he questions whether the faith everyone seems to deposit in him is even warranted. After all, he's still just an old man with bad lungs.

Orberesis blossoms under the tutelage of a new master and awakens ancient, forgotten arts. He rose from thief to the impersonator of a god, and now true divinity might just be well within his grasp.





Thorns of War is the second book in Joo F. Silva’s The Smokesmiths.

The book starts shortly after the events of book one. As we start book one, we enter into a time of relative peace. Gimlore is continuing to establish her role as leader and Rednow is happy and content with his agrarian retirement, planting crops, tilling the land and hopefully training Gimolore’s terrible twosome.

However, peace is fragile, and De Silva rips that rug from under the reader’s feet in a short space of time.

In this second instalment of The Smokesmith’s, De Silva really ups the game and throws the reader into the action in a short space of time.

Not only do we pick up on Gimlore and Rednow, we also pick up on Orberesis’s story as he now comes to grips with new situation that he found himself at the end of book one. De Silva explores the philosophy of his godhood and brings a more human slant to the concept of chosen ones and the divine and the effect that they have on their followers.

I must say that Thorns of War is quite an improvement on Seeds of War. For me , it felt that De Silva seemed more comfortable with his writing in this one, which shows throughout the book. I am not saying that I didn’t like Seeds of War, because I did, but for me it did have its problems. One of these was pacing. The first book was more of a slow burn with the emphasis on a more character driven story (which can sometimes be a problem for me). However, it felt that in Thorns of War, De Silva had got the balance right with character and plot, which led to a more satisfying book.

Another thing that I enjoyed was how De Silva used familiar tropes, particularly ones associated with epic fantasy and managed to use them in an original way, mainly by giving them a more humanistic feel.

Furthemore, there were a lot more plot reveals in this book which kept the hooks in throughout the story at regular intervals rather than attempting to determine where the story was going, which I kind of did in the first book.

It seemed in the Thorns of War that De Silva capitalised and built on all the stuff that he had set up in the first book which ultimately gave it a more rounded story.

Thorns of War is a great sequel and builds on the first one brilliantly. It catapults the story to new highs and I can’t wait to see where this book goes next. 



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