House of Assassins (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, #2) by Larry Correia
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars
Ashok Vidal was once a member of the highest caste in all of Lok. As a Protector, he devoted his life to upholding the Law, rooting out those who still practiced the old ways and delivering swift justice with his ancestor blade Angruvadal. None was more merciless than he in stamping out the lingering belief in gods and demons among the casteless. His brutality was legendary and celebrated.
But soon Ashok learned that his life to that point had been a lie. He himself, senior member of the Protector Order, was casteless. He had been nothing more than an unwitting pawn in a political game. His world turned upside down and finding himself on the wrong side of the Law, he began a campaign of rebellion, war, and destruction unlike any Lok had ever seen.
Thera had been first daughter of Vane. A member of the Warrior Order, she had spent her life training for combat. Until a strange sight in the heavens appeared one day. Thera was struck by lighting and from that day forward she heard the Voice. A reluctant prophet with the power to see into the future, she fought alongside Ashok Vadal and his company of men known as the Sons of the Black Sword until a shapeshifting wizard with designs on her powers of precognition spirited her away. He holds her prisoner in the House of Assassins.
Ashok Vadal and the Sons of the Black Sword march to rescue Thera. With his sword Angruvadal, Ashok was unstoppable. But Angruvadal is gone, shattered to pieces on the demon possessed husk of a warrior. Now, Ashok must fight without the aid of the magic blade for the first time. Thera’s life depends on it.
But there is much more at risk in the continent of Lok. Strange forces are working behind the scenes. Ashok Vadal and the Sons of the Black Sword are caught up in a game they do not fully understand, with powerful forces allied against them.
Ashok no longer knows what to believe. He is beginning to think perhaps the gods really do exist.
If so, he’s warned them to stay out of his way.
They would do well to listen.
Larry Correia is one of my absolute favorite authors. His Monster Hunter International series is at the very top of my list of book series that I really enjoy. Unlike some authors he doesn’t spew out a novel every second week so when a new one comes out it is somewhat of a treat.
When reading this book I was really having a WOW moment because I was reminded of how far above most (not all but most) other authors that I read this author’s writing really is. Not that the rest of the stuff I read is bad, far from it, but it’s like driving a Volkswagen every day and then once in a while getting a ride in a Rolls Royce.
The way the characters, the environment and the story is detailed, how everything fits together, how they interact and, of course, the ass-kicking is put into words is simply way above most stuff out there.
This author refuses to conform to the SJW mob and appease the easily offended whiners, which is a big plus for me, but which unfortunately means that there are a whole bunch of asswipes out there doing their best to tell everyone how bad he is and why you should not read his books. Well, that is a load of utter bullshit and most of these people either do not do anything useful themselves or, if they are capable of producing a book themselves now and then, it is mostly nonsensical rubbish, usually with a political agenda.
Anyway, back to the book. Not surprisingly it starts off right after the previous book ended. All the various threads that started in the first book continue to evolve and mature. The main protagonist is of course Ashok although other characters, like Thera, also play a big role.
Ashok quite an ass-kicker just as as he was in the first book although I have to say that it was a shame that his Black Sword got destroyed. With it he felt even more bad-ass but maybe there are some new goodies in store for Ashok eventually.
It will be interesting to see where the author goes with the story. There are a lot of mysteries in this universe. Is there actually a world outside of Lok? Where does the magic and the dark metal come from? What about the ancient civilization that, as far as I understand it, created the dark metal and stuff? Will there be a The King Has Returned moment? This world that the author has created has so very much story potential.
The book jumps between several main threads. Ashok himself of course, Thera’s predicament and the conspirators among the protectors and their machinations to gain power. We also get a lot of background in this book.
Normally I’m not too thrilled when a book jumps between threads but there has obviously gone quite some thought into both the world building and the story for this book. As I said this book is way above a lot of stuff out there. Thus it’s really necessary to jump around and stay focused for some time on the various characters and events in order to keep together, move forward and evolve the story. The author also managed to balance the complexity and fluidity of the story. Despite there being lots of details the book is never dull or lacking in interest.
I could go on with details about how good I think this book is but I will just repeat myself in different words so … just read the bloody book!
Needless to say I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.
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