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Torwyn burns as Sanctan Egelrath tightens his grip on power. The Draconate Ministry has gathered its forces, determined to eradicate the Guilds, but Rosomon Hawkspur still stands in their way. 

Her only hope could lay with Lancelin Jagdor, sent to gather allies in their struggle against the usurper. Can even the greatest warrior in Torwyn hope to succeed with so many adversaries determined to stop him?

Tyreta returns home with newfound strength and mysterious sorcerous abilities, only to discover it is not the land she left behind. She will have to call upon her untested powers to survive when she embarks on a mission that could turn the tide of war. 

Conall, trapped in a dangerous land, has his own enemies to defeat before he can hope to escape and join the conflict that threatens his family. Even if he succeeds, he must overcome the demons that threaten from within or face damnation. 

Though Rosomon is vastly outnumbered, and her family lost, she is determined to strike back against her enemies. But saving her homeland might prove an impossible task.

-Goodreads

Book Information

  • Title: Engines of Chaos
  • Series: The Age of Uprising #2
  • Author: Richard S. Ford
  • Page Count: 609
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 4.0/5.0
  • Date Read: June 9th, 2024

Opening Thoughts

I began my journey through The Age of Uprising with Engines of Empire as a buddy read just over a year ago. I loved book one so much that I had picked up book two as soon as I could. I finally got a chance to continue this story in June of 2024 with Engines of Chaos. One big difference between the two reads is the first was a visual read and this one was an audiobook. I’ll touch on this more momentarily. I’m still finding this world, it’s characters and the story itself intriguing.

Pacing

I felt the pacing of Engines of Chaos was good. I’m not sure if I’d say it was any better or any less than the first one even with different media formats being used. I will say that the audiobook narrated by a cast of individuals didn’t fully connect with me. Audiobooks are always tricky as I struggle at times when the narrator is new to me. In this case we had eight new narrators to me. I don’t necessarily feel they did a poor job. I just didn’t find myself getting fully immersed listening to the story they were telling. I think if this series continues I will more than likely revert back to visual reads to fully enjoy what the author is putting out there for us.

World Building

The world building continues to shine in this series. It is plenty of martial fighting as well as magic. There seems to be a good balance as it relates to those two. We also have a good amount of locations and factions and plenty of political intrigue and scheming to keep the reader on their toes. There is even struggles within families in this story. Another strong faction to mention is the religious side of things as they are another focal point in the series in general so far. Ford paints a rather grim world where some factions are trying to cling to what power they may still have and others are trying to wrench it away from the previously powerful. There is also some nice redemption moments as far as these power struggles are concerned.

Character Development

The character development is still one of the strongest aspects of this series and this book specifically.  There are a lot of characters and a handful of POV’s to be found in Engines of Chaos. This is where I thought having the multiple narrators might also add to this. Unfortunately, that just didn’t work for me personally. I was still able to keep up with what was going on for the most part. I didn’t find myself complete lost or uninterested and I feel that Ford’s writing style contributed to that more than anything. He does a nice job in tossing out character names quite often which helps me keep track of who is in each scene.

The character in the prologue had thrown me for a bit of a loop. I wasn’t sure what was going on and thought perhaps I waited longer than I should before getting to this read. As this read progressed though I realized who this was and got that “ah ha” moment. The main characters were still great but I think my favorites were those around Grace and her storyline. I don’t want to say anything more than that including those directly connected to her as I feel that would be quite the spoiler. Just keep your eyes and ears open in this story.

Roundup & Recommendation

Overall I am still enjoying this series and I am looking forward to seeing where things go from here. I’d still recommend this series to fantasy book readers who like a good mix of fast paced along with their epic themes. As far as the visual versus audio, I think if you don’t struggle picking up with new to you narrators, the audio of this one could be great! Even for me, if the same cast is used for the next book, I might do better with it. I think if time allows though, I’d rather just go back to visual to have a closer guarantee to thoroughly enjoy it.

Scoring

World Building 4/5
Pacing 3.5/5
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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