Welcome to one of the March 1st stops on the blog tour for The End of Dreams by Marcus Lee, organized by Storytellers on Tour. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for other features and more reviews!
The End of Dreams is the third and final book in The Gifted and the Cursed trilogy. I reviewed book two, Tristan’s Folly, with Storytellers on Tour not too long ago and will come back and update with another link once I finally get my review of the first out.
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About the Book
The End of Dreams
The Gifted and the Cursed Book Three
by Marcus Lee
Published 22 January 2021
Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance
Page Count: 403
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Content Warning: Frequent violence, Mild infrequent profanity
As Daleth the Witch-King and his horde ready themselves for the final battle, a small alliance prepares for a desperate last stand.
However, the alliance is weak and fractured, led by a king interested only in retaining his wealth and a lord commander consumed by his thirst for revenge. With a seemingly unbeatable army before them, invisible foes amongst them, and broken hearts between them, the alliance appears destined to fall.
Yet in these dark times, her light almost extinguished, a peasant huntress is soon to be queen. But if she can find what was lost, she might prove to be more powerful than two kings combined.
This war will bring about the end of dreams, but for whom, the gods have yet to decide.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads.
I was granted a complimentary review copy of The End of Dreams by Marcus Lee via Storytellers on Tour as part of my participation in the March 2021 blog tour for this title. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
The End of Dreams picks up right where Tristan’s Folly left off, with The Witch King severely wounded, Tristan still plotting to keep his title, glory, and kingdom, and with Taran off to find a better option than supporting either king. Keep in mind that this is the third book in a trilogy and you should absolutely be caught up rather than jump in here. I was able to read the middle book without having read the first when I jumped in on that tour (I did get the first book after!) but I don’t think anyone would be able to jump in here. There’s a lot of world-building and prior politics needed from books one and two to appreciate what’s going on here.
When I went into the second book blind, as mentioned, I assumed we’re supposed to like King Tristan, and I left it confused because I didn’t like either King Tristan or King Daleth. I’m no longer confused about it, but I did indeed continue to not like either king, and I’m finally confident that we’re not supposed to, though I do like Daleth more than Tristan. Thank goodness we have option number three, Taran! If this book is about any character, in particular, it’s Taran. And maybe Maya. This trilogy juggles a large and very diverse cast, but at the end of the book, it’s Taran and Maya I’m left thinking about.
I absolutely loved how Daleth made use of shifter twins Jared and Gregor, and when these two received their missions early in the book I did not expect to enjoy Jared’s murderous long con throughout the book as much as I did. Jared was a surprisingly interesting, compelling character in this one, and while he’s clearly a villain and we’re not supposed to cheer for him, I looked forward to his POV sections. I wish this book delivered more of Gregor fulfilling his assignment from Gregor’s POV as well. It didn’t involve as much movement or danger, but let’s just say it could have been very entertaining.
Battle scenes and smaller fights in this book continue to be very well written. They feel raw, realistic, and deadly. They hold interest. There’s plenty of description but it’s not excessively gory either. I very much appreciate the fact that Lee is not afraid to kill important characters. I won’t say who, obviously, that would be a major spoiler, but I promise a few of the ones you’re attached to are not going to survive. Plenty of fantasy authors are heckled for arming their characters with plot armour, but Lee, not these books.
I also really appreciated all of the little humanizing details that made it into the final cut. I love it that Taran takes it upon himself to tend some plants when they’re camped in one place for a while and discovers a missed calling. I love it that he makes light of his own scars. “I bet the good side of my face that…” That genuinely made me laugh!
This really is a great book and a wonderful conclusion to this trilogy. I’m rating it 5 stars, and there’s very little to pick apart. I do like to try to find something to critique, though, so I’ll critique something in vague terms to avoid spoilers. At some point a character finds herself pregnant and I believe it’s for the first time. It’s unclear how much time has passed between her knowing for sure and a scene where her being aware of the baby kicking is significant, but no one else knows she’s pregnant yet so she’s not showing. Having been pregnant, I must point out how unlikely that is! Feeling vague movement while not showing yet? Maybe. Maybe if she’s very fit and doesn’t put on much weight until the third trimester and her clothing is very loosely draped over that abdominal area. Feeling a kick? Nah, baby’s too small if she’s not showing yet. Very minor thing, and there’s magic going on in this world so maybe the answer is magic, but let me pick on something, okay?
I highly recommend that all high fantasy fans, particularly those who enjoy epic world-changing war storylines, check out this trilogy! Marcus Lee is definitely an author to watch. Thanks again to Marcus Lee and Storytellers on Tour for letting me be a part of the tour and celebration of these great books. It has been a pleasure!
About the Author
Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me… but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.
As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.
Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.
So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.
However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be the first of many. I genuinely hope so.
Who knows, now these creatives juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.
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