Reviewed: February 2nd, 2023
Released: October 19th, 2022
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Asherah of Vine died five times in bloody service to her Queen, but now her Queen is dead.
The cycle of reincarnation has ended, and Ash is ready to set her trusty bow aside and live out the rest her days in peace. All she wants is to live a quiet existence on the Rim, but her past, it seems, is intent on catching up with her. She’s tried to outrun him, but he’s not a man to be trifled with.
Willow of Herb has been hunting the butcher Asherah for over two hundred years. She slaughtered his parents and his people, and he intends to bring her to justice. It is because of her that he was turned into a weapon of war, and it is her face that haunts his darkest nightmares. When he finally catches her scent nothing can stop him, but what happens when he captures his greatest enemy and finds out that not everything is what it seems?
As they travel through the icy Lands of Nadir chased by a rival band of bounty hunters, Willow and Asherah must face their pasts and learn to work together if they wish to survive. Trust between enemies isn’t easy to build, but as they fight Feral Fae, face down snowstorms, and run from Retribution, Will and Ash find that maybe they’re stronger as allies than as enemies.
Helen’s thoughts: 5/5
I inhaled this book in almost one sitting. I loved the first book, A Bond of Threads, diving into the complex world of the Mountain Fells with its nine lands, the magical skills and the magical power of an individual guaged by the colour of their gaze. Such a wonderfully clever magic system.
I had to let the book digest for a day or so, before I was ready to write this review, and I must admit I doubt I’ll do it justice.
A Peddlers of Chains, runs parallel to A Bond of Threads and introduces us to some new characters, Willow and Asheran. And oh my, are your emotions going to be put through the ringer! There is much misunderstood about the ‘Bloody Six’ who supported the Mad Queen Maevian, and we get to find out a little more in this book, and it is heart wrenching.
This is a dark and gritty tale, and their are a few trigger warnings, but the subjects are handled sympathetically and it instils in you the need to protet these poor characters, and how could these authors put them through so much misery? (I know I can’t talk, but my heart goes out to Asheran.) It all goes a long way to shift your perspective, not that it helps them much!
The excerpts at the beginning of each chapter are a tease for the chapter, but not always directly connected, and they just add to the complexity of the story. The Rhyming conversation with the peddlar is just sublime. I must admit it took me a while to realise who Plume was, and where she fits but I can’t wait to get to know her better.
I seriously can’t wait for the next book. The fact that their are nine members of the Queen’s Ring for us to meet, and we have now met four, means we have a long way to go!! Which means lots more books for us, thankfully!
If you love gritty, complex Epic Fantasy with amazing characters, then you’ll love this and I highly recommend the series.
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If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series or the Romantic Fantasy SoulMist series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.