Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Obsidian Moons
SERIES: Obsidian Book 2
AUTHOR: Jon Keys
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 224 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 12, 2016
After achieving the impossible and releasing their people from the Varas slavers, Anan and Terja, a spellweaver and spellspinner, start the arduous journey back to their homeland. A winter trek across the grasslands is dangerous enough, but the traitor, Xain, is tasked with recapturing the slaves, and failure will mean his death. As added insurance, the Varas High Regent hires a Triad of legendary Ubica assassins and assigns a full regiment of his personal guards, along with their captain, to the task. Their mission is clear: recapture the escaped Talac slaves destined for the Varas pleasure houses—and the bed of the High Regent—at any cost.
The newly freed Talac travel toward their homelands with the full knowledge they are likely being pursued. The flight westward is fraught with new and unexpected dangers as Anan and Terja struggle to save their tribe. The battle for shelter, food, and a way to defend themselves becomes an all-consuming task, but they are reminded by the avatars of their gods that all is not as it appears.
I was happy to see this sequel to Obsidian Sun which I read and reviewed just over a year ago. As expected, the story begins pretty much directly after the end of the previous book, and recounts the continuing story of the Kuri tribe of the Talac people. I was a little nervous when I started the book because it has been a year since I read the first one, and literally I’ve read over 300 books since then. Would I be able to pick up the story, or would I have to go back and re-read book one to do it? Not that that would have been a bad thing, but I was running behind on time, so jumped straight in. I had no problems picking the story back up and quite rapidly worked my way through the book.
At the end of book one (spoiler alert for that book), the captive slaves had been rescued by Anan and Terja. But that was the only the beginning. Now they must escape the Varas soldiers and Ubica assassin triad who are chasing them across the Talac lands. The only hope for Anan, Terja and the rest of the escaped slaves is to get to the winter encampment of the Kuri.
Along the way, they will face great hardships, and suffer more losses from their small remaining tribe. Will they escape? Will the traitor Xain get his in this book?
I liked the story. The world building was not quite as extensive as the previous book, so I was able to follow along quite easily. The book was well written, and I’d consider it above average. I liked the characters and the storyline. Now let’s talk about my minor issues with the book. The book reads kind of as the “middle” chapters of a longer book. The beginning makes sense if you’ve read book one, but you need that background…and then the book ends with the story unfinished. They have reached some resolution and have solved some problems…but the story isn’t over. This book is not a standalone in my opinion. You have to read the first book or you would have no idea who these people are, why they are running, who this evil Xain guy is…etc. So now I will have to wait for the rest of the story. I’m hoping it won’t be another full year before we find out what happens next!
In conclusion, this series would be a fit for anyone who enjoys a complex world fantasy. Start with book one first. I think if I had read this one with book one and had a book three to go directly to, it might have been rated a little higher. But, as it stands, I’m going to have to call it as “I Liked It / Above Average” or 3.5 on our rating scale.