Book Review: The Shattered Vigil
Victory over the dark forces during the feast of Bas-solas should have guaranteed safety for the continent. Instead, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover they’ve been outsmarted by those seeking to unleash the evil that inhabits the Darkwater. Jorgen, the member of the Vigil assigned to Frayel, has gone missing, and new attacks have struck at the six kingdoms’ ability to defend themselves.
Just when the Vigil thought they had quenched the menace from their enemy in Collum, a new threat emerges: assassins hunting the Vigil, men and women who cannot be seen until it’s too late. The orders of the church and the rulers of the kingdoms, fearing the loss of the Vigil’s members altogether, have decided to take them into protective custody to safeguard their gift. On Pellin’s orders, the Vigil scatters, leaving Willet to be taken prisoner by the church in Bunard.
In the midst of this, Willet learns of the murder of an obscure nobleman’s daughter by one of the unseen assassins. Now he must escape his imprisonment and brave the wrath of the church to find the killer in order to turn back this latest threat to the northern continent.
This is the second book in a series. Or the third if you count the prequel.
Prequel: By Divine Right
Book one: The Shock of Night
You need to read both the prequel and the first book to have any real hope of deeply engaging with this novel, but I can assure you that it will be worth it. Carr is a masterful writer, one of the best fantasy fiction writers that I have read in years. His work is layered, symbolic, descriptive and focused. His characters are real and engaging. There was one point, between books one and two, where I was concerned about where the story line was headed. I was so deeply invested in the tale I wasn’t sure my heart could take it if it all went awry, but I’m happy to say that my fears were unfounded.
These novels seem a bit darker to me than his The Staff and the Sword series, which were also brilliantly written. Yet, the darkness isn’t gratuitous, it’s appropriate. It the dark of any epic tale, the dark we find within, the dark we find without and the journey toward the light that overcomes. I would say that these novels might not be for everyone and that they are not geared for younger readers.
I’d give Carr 5 stars for The Shattered Vigil.
I received a free unedited digital galley of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. I loved it so much that I’m buying the edited version. This is a series that belongs in my library.