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Book Review: The Third Crossing

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“The drums of war are beating in Koya. By the Light’s will, the Red Cloaks shall cross the sea under His holy banner, the ancient homeland will be restored, the slaughtered ancestors will be avenged, and the damned occupants shall all perish.

By the Light’s will, the Third Crossing shall happen.

Akira will be one of the heroes of the upcoming holy war; that’s the seer’s promise to his mother. He will outshine his fellow mages, don the red cloak, and join the Light’s own soldiers. He will bring victory to his people and honor to his family, clearing its name from his father’s shame.

Or that’s what Akira thinks. Because seers can be devious sometimes.

From the rural side of Koya enters Natsu as she assumes her late husband’s place and takes the smuggling underworld by storm. Her shocking rise provokes not only the Koyan navy, but also her rivals, and a fierce war ensues on land and sea. A war she can only win if she shakes hands with the smugglers’ deadliest enemies; the Red Cloaks themselves.

For honor and coin, Akira and Natsu will forge a shaky alliance, both knowing that one of them will eventually have to betray the other. Trust could be a grave mistake in these dark times of war. If you wish to be the last one standing, you must be ready to be the first to stab in the back.”

Title: The Third Crossing

Series: War of the Last Day #0

Author: Karim Soliman

Page Count: 263

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: August 17th, 2022

This was my second read of Karim Soliman’s works and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. Though I did rate book one (Army of the Cursed) higher with a 5 star, I felt this one brought some similar feelings but I enjoyed book one a bit more over all.

With that being said, I was feeling a bit of deja vu with this one near the beginning with similarities between a character in this prequel as with in book one. We have someone who is struggling to live up to the potential they want to as it relates to this worlds magic but they have a gift in dealing with potions. But that only lasted so long before this character clearly got on their own path very different from that mentioned in book one.

Pacing was on par with the previous book. It kept a good pace. It might have actually been a little easier to follow with only two main PoV’s to follow in The Third Crossing. But the over all action and story were done well again!

Character building was very well too. As previously mentioned we only had two main point of views but several excellent supporting characters. Karim hasn’t been afraid to let us lose some supporting characters that we readers might have gotten a bit attached too. He isn’t afraid to put any of his characters main or supporting through the ringer in his stories which is always nice to see! You really begin to feel for them.

The world building gets a bonus from me simply because it helps build the world in general that I already begin to learn about from book one. That’s really what this book was written to do after talking to Karim after reading it. It really does shed some light on why certain people where in Army of the Cursed fighting for sides that might not have made sense. After this book, it makes a lot of sense!

The one thing I think that brought the rating down just slightly is the fact of how abruptly the two main characters’ story ended in The Third Crossing. It definitely leaves you wanting more. Especially since we get a bit of a fast forward, I wish we could have added another 100 pages or so and learned a bit more what happened during that time that elapsed. But again after talking with Karim we might not have heard the last of these two which really excites me! I have my hands on book two of the series which I need to work in over the next couple of months if I can, then patiently wait for book three to finish and release!

One huge bonus for me in this story was the inclusion of a main character that wasn’t your typical young adventurer. We get that so often with fantasy stories and I get it. We are building the past of that character so that we can learn more about why they are doing what they are about to do. But the fact one of these two was already well into her middle years is always a huge bonus for me. It’s just a refreshing change when I get to read about those types of characters.

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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