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I will be honest… I 150% thought that Audsley (and Aedelbert for that matter) was black… My whole reality is off kilter now!

Ohhhh Chronicles of the Black Gate. The kind of books that, upon hearing that the 4th book in the series is released, I immediately drop everything I’m doing and pick it up. Yep, that happened. Witcher 3 – dropped. Other books that I was thinking of starting – dropped. I wished I could have dropped work to read too, but alas. 🙂

The war for the soul of the Ascendant Empire is coming to a head. Factions with fell intent move to undermine or destroy that which has stood for centuries, while armies muster promising slaughter.

In this time of desperation, old enemies find common ground. Ancient truths emerge to shatter long held beliefs. Monsters from myth and legend emerge onto the world stage, while blood drowns the ceremonies of the faithful.

Unpredictable, fast paced, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Iron Circlet is the fourth installment in a gripping new epic fantasy series.

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve lost. Whom you’ve lost. That’s your fucking job. To fight. To die.”

🙌 “Yeeeahhh. Fucking preach it, man!” she chirped at 1:10am. (Still married. 👍)

Asho is and always has been my favorite character in this whole series. He’s pretty much the ultimate underdog. I want him to win, I want him to succeed, I want him to live happily ever after. So, parts of this book were satisfying AF, I’m telling you.

Secrets are being revealed! The story and all its extra bits are really starting to come together now, so it’s a quarter past time to start finding out how things are going to end up for our enigmatic group of protagonists! The empire is pretty fucked, and everyone pretty much knows it at this point. There’s Audsley, who is starting to find out all kinds of crazy things about the top people in the empire, and you start to really wonder what he and his new batshit crazy-ass friend are going to do. Iskra is running on empty, just trying to survive and keep her people alive. Tiron is on the other side of the world kicking ass, and meets a couple new friends that converges some storylines. Kethe is still kicking asses and taking names. Asho is being a fucking badass, and loudly and vehemently giving orders to people that are, according to the doctrine of this whole world, several levels above his station (and it is amazeballs! Give them hell you glorious albino bastard. Give. Them. Hell!).

Then, there’s Tharok, who is, in everyone’s POV but his own, the antagonist. Tharok’s POV has always been an entirely different view of the world, in another place and with other people- other creatures entirely. Now it’s beginning to converge with the rest of the world. That, and the story from that side is starting to get really interesting, as we are starting to figure out just how much events have been influenced up to this point by a certain circlet made of iron. I’ve never really liked Tharok’s POV in other volumes of the series, but in this one, I found it really compelling.

This volume was quite well written and moved at a really brisk pace. It was really hard to put it down. It has a pretty awesome vocabulary in it, too, which I thought was pretty sweet. Any time that I have to have my kindle look up a word that I’m not 100% sure of the meaning of, it makes me acutely aware of the vocab, which makes me learn new words to spell wrong. In this particular case, I’m looking at a pretty well thought out vocab that actually works. It doesn’t seem odd or forced, like some books do. Sometimes when you see words you rarely see in real life you start to wonder if there was a thesaurus present for the entire writing of it, but this one doesn’t give me that impression. It feels normal, and you can tell that Phil’s writing is becoming stronger as he goes. Practice makes perfect, right? Path of Flames was fantastic, but I thought this one was more well written.

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Dat fucking ending tho! WHAT THE SHIT?! How am I going to wait to find out how this series ends?!

I was nearly yelling at my kindle by the end of this one. Jesus Christ, that ending was intense. I cannot WAIT!

You can get a copy here: US | UK | AU | CA | IN

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