A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone #3) by John Gwynne

A time of courageWow.  Yes, I thought I would be consistent – my reviews for the previous two books in the series started that simply and so in the interests of continuity I thought I’d conclude with the same note and, on an incredibly happy note I’m overjoyed to be able to conclude with such high praise.

This third book really blew me away.  I loved the first book, I adored the second book but this book, it made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me so annoyed that I wanted to rip a tissue.  It’s packed with feelings.  The tension is so intense, the battles are furious, the pacing is crazy.  I just loved it.  I would actually give this a higher rating than 5/5 if I could.  Well, who’s to say I can’t.  6 out of 5 stars – there, call the rating police.

Now, if you haven’t yet read this series but intend to do so then just be aware there might be spoilers below, although I highly doubt it as I’m planning on skirting around the plot.

This instalment, in a nutshell, is the perfect culmination to the series.  It brings everything together in one huge explosive battle (after a bit of to’ing and fro’ing that is), chucks the pieces into the air and then chops, shoots and stabs the whole lot as it falls to the ground.  Then stabs a few more things as well for good measure.  Seriously though, there is a lot of fighting in this instalment – and the thing is, I loved it all.  Well, apart from some of the deaths – but truth be told you couldn’t have a make or break situation like this without the loss of some favourite characters.

This final instalment is once again told with multiple POVs but this time an additional character is added. So we once again have Riv, Drem, Bled and Fritha but now Jin joins the storytelling and this adds a whole new world of ‘hell hath no fury’.  I have to say the characters in this series are absolutely awesome.  I love them, even when I really hate them!  Seriously this is top characterisation.  I was on the edge of my seat with worry.  I think I already mentioned I cried.  And some of the scenes made me almost cry with relief.  Particularly some of the scenes with Bleda.  In fact the chapters between Bleda and Jin are absolutely compelling.  And the relationships are like a masterclass in writing whether its friendship, love, hate, revenge or desire.

I don’t think I can really write too much more here and that isn’t because I don’t want to but because I’m in serious danger of gushing so much that it becomes simply embarrassing.

All I can say to conclude is that this entire series was perfect from start to finish.  I didn’t have any criticisms at all which is unusual to say the least and I read this final instalment with my heart in my throat.  I always pick up the last book and wonder if it will live up to the rest of the series and this one really does, in fact it goes beyond.  Gwynne doesn’t pull any punches to be fair and I have to applaud that.  In an end of the world style story where everything is on the line, lives are lost.  Bittersweet though.

If you like epic fantasy then I can’t recommend this series enough.  Do yourself a favour and read it.  My only regret is that I didn’t read the earlier series by Gwynne set in this same world and now I’ve read the conclusion it’s highly unlikely that I’ll go back, but it is what it is and you never know – one day.

Truth and courage.  The truth of the matter is that I loved this series, this story and these characters, as much as Lord of the Rings – there, I’ve said it, and that’s about as high praise as I can think of right now.  Tolkien might not be for you though so don’t be distracted by that comment – I’m talking about the pure joy of reading right now, not necessarily style.  Courage is something you’re not going to need because you will be hooked from the beginning to the end, although you might need some courage because this book feels like you’ve literally been sucked through some kind of tunnel and are living in this world, and seriously, it’s not a world in which I want to live – I’m an absolute lily livered coward and I have no shame at all about admitting it – and with monsters running and flying at great speed towards you, gnashing their teeth and swinging their war axes, well, a little courage couldn’t hurt – although, getting bumped up onto the shoulders of a huge white bear, who happens to be one of the good guys, makes it all kind of worthwhile.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  the above is my own opinion.

Rating 5 of 5 stars (6 if it was possible)



9 Responses to “A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone #3) by John Gwynne”

  1. Tammy

    Everyone loves this series, I need to start it. You’ve convinced me!

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    You are perfectly right to gush because this book – this whole series – both deserves and requires gushing. A story that can keep me enthralled through 200 pages of “final battle” is nothing short of an amazing one. And I concur on your 6 out of 5 stars, the rating police be damned! 😀 😀
    Great review, thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Wow, that’s awesome! I still need to catch up with book two, but looks like I have lots ot look forward to.

  4. waytoofantasy

    Oh WOW. That’s very high praise. I’m so glad this ended on such a high note for you, Lynn! I keep hearing so many great things about this series. 🙂

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