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Book Review: The Martyr

Table of Contents

Deadly feuds and ancient secrets spell war in the second novel of The Covenant of Steel, a new epic series of action, intrigue, and magic from a master storyteller who has taken the fantasy world by storm.

Times have changed for Alwyn Scribe. Once an outlaw, he’s now a spymaster and sworn protector of Lady Evadine Courlain, whose visions of a demonic apocalypse have earned her the fanatical devotion of the faithful.

Yet Evadine’s growing fame has put her at odds with both Crown and Covenant. As trouble brews in the kingdom, both seek to exploit her position for their own ends.

Sent to the Duchy of Alundia to put down a rebellion, Alwyn must rely on old instincts to fight for his new cause. Deadly feuds and ancient secrets are laid bare as war erupts, a war that will decide the fate of the Kingdom of Albermaine and, perhaps, prevent the coming of the prophesied Second Scourge.”

Title: The Martyr

Series: The Covenant of Steel #2

Author: Anthony Ryan

Page Count: 528

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: January 8th, 2023

 I am focused on getting many of my open series (26) caught up as I can as we enter the new year. I put The Martyr higher on my list as our buddy read group read book one (The Pariah) in this series late last year and I truly enjoyed it. Book two did not disappoint me in the slightest.
I felt like book two was really a solid continuation of book one. The only real changes in my opinion are we dive into the story a bit quicker as the build up of the world and characters is mostly behind us from the first installment. The other thing I felt as this story moved on is how much Alwyn has grown from the beginnings of our story. Not so much as in age or what we typically see with coming of age stories. Things aren’t always for the better and of positive morality.
Alwyn continues to find himself in continuously troubling situations and some how finds a way to prevail either of his own skill and wits or of those supporting him. The Martyr continued to keep me entertained right up and through the end. The ending was a moment of finality without a doubt. Not in our story but in something we’ve been building to for quite some time! I’m anxious to see where this story and these characters go from here.
The world building didn’t necessary continue to expand in geographical locations but we begin to settle into various locations in a bit more depth both in current situations and remember of situations in the past as well connecting us with the past and the here and now.
The pacing was just as smooth as The Pariah was. For myself, these are very quick and easy reads that keep me entertained throughout. I’ve yet to really find myself feeling like I’m struggling to get through a section to get back to more exciting moments. I also don’t always mention that vocabulary used can at times trip me up and this series hasn’t really had many if any of those moments either.
The character development continues to be solid this time around as well. The majority of this tale is still covering our protagonist Alwyn but we have a core group of supporting character carried forward into book two and quite a few new ones introduced as well propelling us forward.
As previously mentioned I’m really enjoying this series by Anthony Ryan and I’m looking forward to what comes in The Traitor. I’d recommend this series to fans of epic fantasy a bit on the lighter side of magic. It also has plenty of religious and political intrigue as  well.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 4.5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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