Legacy of Brick & Bone
Tainted Dominion #2
I received a free pre-release copy of this book with the understanding that an honest review at some point would be most welcome but in no way required.
Anyone who read and enjoyed Legacy of the Brightwash, the first book in the series, will be happy to know that book two in the series is more of the same – down to how the words feel as you read them. It’s not just the characters and the setting and the events, but the very atmosphere. A solid, tangible presence hidden behind the words that’s entirely different from anything else I’ve read. It’s a bit like coming home.
The book begins where the previous one ends and pulls the story into a new, but entirely logical direction. Where book one was in large parts about uncovering what’s really going in The Dominion and what The Authority is doing, book two is about the consequences of what’s uncovered.
In short: The Authority is doing horrible things while making out they’re protecting the innocent public from the threat of the “tainted.” Tashué, the main character (at least in book #1) is all about protecting the innocent and making life better for people in general, so of course he’s helping The Authority enforce their rules, even if perhaps some of the people he’s “protecting” get the rough end of the deal sometimes. It’s all for the greater good, right?
The law is there to protect people, right?
Perhaps that isn’t the case, and perhaps things are a bit more complicated than they seemed, and perhaps Tashué tried really, really hard for a very long time not to see that. Eventually, though, the ugly truth can no longer be denied, Tashué’s world crumbles, and things start going very, very wrong.
That’s what this book is about.
Lots of people die in horrible ways, and then it gets worse.
Legacy of the Brightwas was one of the darkest books I read last year, but also one of the best. Legacy of Brick and Bone is in every way a worthy continuation of the story.
What I’ll whine about
There are a lot of secondary characters and side-characters and some of them have similar names (Maes, Amias) and I sometimes had difficulties keeping them apart.
The book is very long. Yes, it’s as long as it needs to be in order to tell the story it contains, but it’s still a thunderchonk. I’m going to need something shorter, lighter, and more fast-paced after this. It’s not that the story is slow, but it’s also not shy about taking its time getting where its going.
I’d have liked for there to be more Tashué and less everyone else – or at least more Tashué.
What I’ll gush about
The writing. The voice. The atmosphere. The quality.
The copy I read was a pre-release arc that still had to go through one more editing pass before getting published. Almost every chapter had a word being wrong or incorrectly repeated, and still the story practically oozed with life and substance. The error’s didn’t matter. Reading the book still felt like a quality experience. Like listening to music real loud on a top notch sound system instead of on a break-room transistor radio. Like enjoying a fine whiskey instead of engine coolant. There wasn’t a mistake I wouldn’t forgive in a heartbeat.
Yes, it’s political, but it’s also about people, love, and friendship, and it’s about the lies we tell ourselves to pull through our everyday lives. There’s intrigue, drama, and deceit, and it’s all so very real. The world is so cold, and the dreams are so warm. Toward the end, when things finally appeared to be taking a turn for the better, I just kept getting more and more nervous about what would inevitably go wrong. It’s that kind of story.
Despite all the cruel, all the ugly, and all the violence, suffering, and pain, this book is incredibly beautiful.