Read Reading The Verkreath Horror (Deathsworn Arc, #2) By Martyn Stanley –

3.5 starsThat awkward moment when the dwarf is badass than the imperial wizard The Verkreath Horror is definitely gritty than its predecessor After battling a noble dragon and losing two of their comrades, our remaining warriors start their journey back to the Empress in Cormaroth They are delayed by a plague ridden town, and a powerful group of dragon aficionados is starting to form and they are not amused Our heroes are forced to hide underground, which houses another gruesome evil the verkreath These are sentient rat people who are nasty and have no mercy We follow our heroes as they run from one danger to the next Their stamina as well as their faith is being tested to the max.I thought this was a very decent sequel to The Last Dragon Slayer I loved the fact that we got to know a lot about the dwarfish culture how they live, how they build their homes, etc Votrex was really in his element here Not just with explaining everything, but also in fights Seriously, that dwarf is so badass it s not even fair any What a character Absolutely brilliant.Saul s powers still left me disappointed, but I get the reasoning behind it for a human wizard, he s pretty powerful, but compared to Vashni and, hopefully, Brael, who ve had centuries and even millennia to hone their skills, Saul s powers just don t come across as very impressive Still hoping he ll become awesome.In this book, Brael is finally able to tell The Truth , which leaves all the characters questioning their faith I can imagine it s pretty shocking to them, but as a reader, it was a little underwhelming I m still very interested in how Brael has managed to discover all of this, because it s pretty huge Hopefully that will be dealt with in a sequel I also cannot wait for Brael to have his curse lifted, so he can finally demonstrate his awesome magic skills.Vashni was a lot tolerable in this book, maybe because she simply didn t have the time to pester Korhan She s actually grown to care for the man and spends most of the book trying to heal him She s a lot less distant and finally starts to see her travelling partners as friends, which was really nice I might even like her now.The theme of the book is a lot darker they re grieving for their fallen comrades, but they also don t have time to rest from slaying the dragon Everyone is hurt and tired, yet they re always on the run from something or someone They also spend most of the book underground, and The Truth will definitely shake their religious foundations It s not heavy, though The tone is made lighter because you learn a lot of things in conversation The characters are always talking and learning about gravian and dwarfish culture, and that made it easier to bear All in all, it was a solid sequel, and I m definitely picking up The Blood Queen soon. Imperial Wizard Saul Karza Has Stared Death In The FaceInstead Of An Easy Ride Home To Claim His Reward, He Finds Himself Fleeing A Fanatical Dragon Cult And A Horde Of Vile Creatures Determined To Devour His Entire PartyJust When Things Couldn T Get Any Worse, He Is Faced With The Even Greater Horror, Of Brael Truthseeker S Enigmatic TruthThe Deathsworn Arc Series Of Dark, Epic Fantasy Adventure Novels Deathsworn Arc The Last Dragon SlayerDeathsworn Arc The Verkreath HorrorDeathsworn Arc The Blood QueenDeathsworn Arc Rise Of The ArchmageDeathsworn Arc The Temple Of The Mad GodThe Deathsworn Arc Is A Fantasy Series With Themes Of Atheism And Pragmatism, It Contains Graphic Violence And Mature ThemesRecommended For Readers Only Ok, I may as well get off my lazy ass and continue reading and reviewing this series Been putting this book off for far too long and I practically finished it in one sitting May contain spoilers Read at your own risk While this book had of a nonsensical and avoidable plot to it I ll get to that later it was less random than the previous book was And that may be because they finally have a GOAL, where in the first book they had a goal but on the way they did things at random Sure they met up with Korhan, Vashni and Brael and the other two dead guys, but aside from that pretty random stuff happened.So we start out the second book with them successful but worn from their battle with the dragon Thrax And I will be quoting Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation now if you don t mind me What follows is a textbook example of an idiot plot or plot that happens because every single character is an idiot So they decide that instead of heading back towards the empress and investigate what those Heart Stones were, no, the best course of action is to go save a blacksmith s son and a crazy bimbo fanatic, just because they feel a hint of responsibility for having sent them into a plagued town The plot gets deeper into the absurd when they decide, instead of just evading the city and hope that these people they rescued had some common sense not to go there, they enter I repeat, this is a plagued city, the air is stinking of death and disease and they enter after having been warned that they are not permitted to leave should they do so But aside from the occasional look of sadness, horror and disgust our heroes, ladies and gentlemen, give importance to the architecture of the city than their own safety I shit you not, the I read about their interest in how the buildings are constructed the I felt like the author was making a poor attempt at conveying atmosphere and setting by means of a close to useless and intrusive description Wait there were at least four instances where I found asking myself why does this matter, so the correct word is descriptions , with an s at the end.It does not end here There are two instances in which I went ape shit.1 First off we have Brael, Votrex and Saul enter a series of tunnels called the warren and this scene stretches for two painstaking chapters in which Votrex and Brael do nothing but walk and explain, boast and explain and belittle Saul for being human And Saul s reaction to their not so subtle racism He is either in awe at the explanations they give or is the Watson Asking How come this or I never knew that Here is where the author absolutely slams the reader in the face with the fact that Saul is incompetent both as a wizard AND as a scholar person who has read and researched quite a bit I think this role would have fitted Korhan better had he been permitted to leave her side and join Brael and Votrex in the tunnel But no, we had to have someone to explain all these complex systems and contraptions and dwarven gravian habits to, let s make Saul the stupid one I can t tell you how much I was facepalming myself through that part And another thing that pissed me off were Votrex and ESPECIALLY Brael s long winded explanations that fell into talking head syndrome again I found myself saying countless times, stop it, stop it will you I won t understand anything if you tell it to me so will you please freaking show me already what you mean Alas common sense does not fair well with these two characters And they seem to enjoy showing off their knowledge in words cuz not once did Saul say that he s having trouble following what they say.2 The second part happens while the others are in the warren, Kyla, the Bereger of the plagued city, announces Vashni and Korhan that the Servants of the Flame have caught up with them In here they find out the fate of that all too important blacksmith s son and the fanatic sacrifice lady they were so worried about that they risked their lives by entering a PLAGUED CITY Spoiler Alert She joins the Servants to be sacrificed again, and Callen everyone seems to know his name for some obscure reason is killed ha called it The Servant leader is this big guy that likes to talk a lot and wipes the floor with Korhan rather welcoming turn of events actually What pissed me off in this whole scenario however is that when this dude orders for Vashni to be tied up and gagged she does nothing I mean what the actual fuck If I were in her place, not only would I have not given a rats ass about that worthless Callen boy and the town I would have charged head long and confronted the Servant leader myself, just because he suggested it But I am not Vashni, she lets people do that to her, like a wimp and a damsel ready to be saved I hold no special affection for this character, as you can tell from the review I have posted on the first book, but this is too degrading to shrug off.Admittedly, until they enter the warrens for a second time, which is about 40 % into the novel, the whole story is one giant idiot plot When I do sparknotes for what I read, I usually limit myself to up to 50 60 comments for an entire book, but the first 40 % of this book I went through it by adding a total of 70 comments sparknotes In other words, the reasons I shot off two stars from the rating was of those 40 % of the novel alone.The plot gets better after that and they find a purpose They aren t running around like headless chickens any They find a badly damaged gravian girl, called Elira, that showed personality that a piece of gum stuck to your teachers pants, which is where the others are centered now, personality wise They are attacked by rodent men, go further into the tunnels, attacked by rodent men again then get out Casualty Elira she couldn t walk anyway why keep her alive, eh Oh and they find out the truth and start doubting the essence of their religions Nnnyeah, I don t care.I m going to talk a bit about a few things before I go on and write a few of my funnier sparknotes Up until now, the author has not once showed intention of making the characters familiar to one another They are as stiff in their speaking with one another as they were when they met Aside from this, the distance of the narrator towards the characters is so heavily felt that I don t feel any emotion towards them, nor do I care if they live or die The characters that are developed here, are not Brael and Votrex as one would guess from the cover, but Brael and Vashni She does not do a whole lot in this book but the things she does mould her and change her personality than the others Brael gets, aside from a clearer backstory and motives, actual character development and the part in which he is holding Elira s lifeless body and weeping, not gonna lie, it touched me to a certain degree there is where he outright bursts in anger and declares the truth to his companions That there is no God and when you die you do not live a peaceful afterlife I am thinking that Elira s death hammered this fact deeper into his mind and, while I had not felt any significant or outstanding emotional shift in either one of the characters, this was the scene that made me think the character s feelings are authentic this is not really a good thing, cuz it means that the reader is not yet emotionally invested in the characters And finally I would like to add the phrase I kept saying while reading the long series of symbols and mishmash that constituted the spells and incantations Translations or GTFO I seriously got pissed at one point cuz the same phrase was repeated over and over and over again, that I just snapped This is a sure way to drive your readers mad, Martyn, good job Ok now for my funnier sparknotes Ahhh, but human eyes are not attuned to lazy light Arrogant prick Is this book going to talk about how dwarves, gravians and elves are superior to humans, cuz if that s the case then fuck you, Brael Saul started in wonder How is this possibleYou are a magic user, such a thing should not come as a surprise to you Martyn, do you want me to hate you Korhan grinned through his bloodied face I m going to kill you HernSubtle Hern I am going to skewer you like a pig, you will experience severe pain and breathing will become difficult. Are you shitting me My acquaintance with the Empress has been a long and, hmmm, interesting one. Ohhhh, he s had sex with her P Channel Store Prime These are terms I am not familiar with. Incompetent Saul at his finest and NO, I don t think he was asking for an explanation in such a case either.This has surely been an awkward read I ve read books with hateful characters I ve read books with pathetic characters But never up until now, have I read a book with idiot characters This is a first and it plagues them for at least 40 % of the book and unfortunately has stuck to Saul like tar to feathers.Let s Rate This 6.8 10Setting and Atmosphere 6Plot 7Main Characters 7Secondary Characters 8Antagonists 6 Writing 7Enjoyability 7Reviews for the Deathsworn Arc series The Last Dragon SlayerThe Verkreath HorrorThe Blood QueenRise of the ArchmageThe Temple of the Mad GodSeeing as this was a really quick read I might do another quicky tomorrow with If I stay Mockingjay is such a drag My reviews My Blog Twitter The Verkreath Horror has in common with the sword and sorcery genre than it does high fantasy, yet, like the previous novel it shares and subverts features of each Violent conflicts, mystical mentor romance, magic, the supernatural and a band of sword wielding heroes on a perilous journey that tests their physical endurance to it limits, as well as their mental fortitude in the face of Brael s truth a truth, a horror, that pursues the characters throughout the novel like the monstrous Verkreath in the hellish depths of the fallen dwarf warren they traverse.A Gravian, Elf, Barbarian, Wizard, and Dwarf the novel follows this misfit bunch of warriors on their perilous journey to return the dragon heart stones to their ruler, Empress Jade Their journey is fraught with danger as they travel underground in a labyrinth infested with the Verkeath a savage and deadly species of humanoid rat There is always the underlying knowledge throughout the course of the novel that the stakes are high The noble dragon may have been defeated in the The Last Dragon Slayer but the battle is not won The whole of Empress Jades empire is at peril there is the ravages of the plague, Thrax s fanatical worshippers, and civil unrest about to erupt like a volcano from the depths below The mystery surrounding the dragon s heart stones remains unanswered and will no doubt be the focus of third book in the series, The Blood Queen, but still The Verkreath Horror is teaming with action, bubbling with intrigue and introduces a set of new, darker characters who complicate the plot.The journey is not sprinkled with faerie dust, it is so gruelling, even the characters themselves comment, ironically, it has been a far cry from the tall tales about heroes journeys told in the ale houses Throughout the novel Stanley s attention to detail and world building are impressive Architecture, functional arrangements, customs are all lovingly depicted and well thought out I was particularly impressed with the Brael s character being biased towards sci fi as opposed to fantasy I was delighted to discover he is depicted as a Mage Scientist which brought to mind Arthur C Clarke s quote Magic s just science that we don t understand yet Many of the themes and messages weaved within the novel resonate in our own world and history, which is an example of fantasy working at its best Brael s truth is symbolised in the figure of the Verkreath, the humanoid rat creatures who are emptied of meaning and souls, driven only by the instinct to survive Definitely a book recommended for fans of the high fantasy genre and Sword and Sorcery. 4.5 stars This book surprised me in a lot of ways Usually by the time I get to the second book in a series, I feel like I pretty much have the motives and personalities of the characters figured out Not so much in this series One of the things that impressed me the most about this book is the way the characters have grown since the first in the series Martyn Stanley takes his world, his characters and his story seriously enough to care that they learn as they go, grow into the heroes you want them to be and become worthy of continuing on with another book The Verkreath Horror also surprised me because of the sheer intelligence in his battle scenes Whereas many fantasy books annoy me because the battle scenes are either too short, too long or everyone ends up running and screaming or standing around confused when they would logically have been chopped to bits in a real battle, this author doesn t allow his characters that luxury The descriptions are incredibly good and keep you holding your breath as you turn pages, hoping your favourites make it out alive Whilst this is a darker book than the first, I also saw a line of hope and redemption in this story I m still trying to figure out how he managed to make a book so conflicting with itself, and yet pull it off so smoothly My only complaint I miss the goofiness between two of the characters I won t add a spoiler here by saying which two, but one of the reasons I adored the first book so much was the banter and awkwardness between these two It wasn t present in this story and that made me a little sad Finally, the ending was not what I expected Generally these books end on some massive cliffhanger, where everyone is in peril These characters actually seem to be relatively squared away for the moment I had to analyse this for a bit before writing this review I believe this is the best way this book could have ended The author now has me wondering not if, but when the danger will come I d rather wait for the next book thinking characters I have grown to love are safe for the moment It makes it seem real How long can a terrifying beast stay suspended in mid air whilst we wait for the author to release a book Nope This ending was genius.If you love fantasy books and you don t love reading the same thing that has already been done a million times before, this is a great series to go with Even as someone who has spent much of their life reading fantasy novels from many authors, I still see originality in these books Check them out, you won t be sorry you did Hurry up and write me another book, Mr Stanley I am not altogether patient. The Verkreath Horror is the second book in the Deathworm series Just when they think their quest is at an end the group find themselves being hunted down by Thrax s followers Trying to escape them they come across new creatures who are perhaps worst than what they are fleeing I really enjoyed the first book in this series and looked forward to reading this one Out of the two at the moment, this one is my favourite It was well written and held my interest all the way through Even though, Korhan and Vashni seemed to be in the background, I still thought they were good It seemed as though the group couldn t get by without Brael and Vortex in this book Some of my questions about Brael and the truth were answered in this story but not all of them Saul, was alright and you seen him using his powers By the end of this book there is so much that still has me curious and keen to read on The only part I didn t like was the Verkreath creatures because from the way that they are described they sound horrible I would recommend this to fans of fantasy, but suggest reading the first book before this Thank you to the author for a ebook copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I absolutely enjoyed this book The Verkreath Horror isn t a fun romp through the forest It s a dark, rough, and accurate, though thoroughly fictional look at the journeys of this group of adventurers Some readers might think it s too dark and harsh, but in my opinion, I find Martyn Stanley s writing to be extremely accurate in it s harshness In Deathsworn Arc 2, Korhan, Vashni, Saul, Vortex, and Brael are tested time and again The trials they must face bring them closer as a group, tests their endurance, physical and magical abilities, and survivability Book 2 is one arduous passing after another, while their belief systems are called into question Not though, as one reader put it, Losing their religion As in the first book of Deathsworn Arc, it is written very well I am very interested in finding out about The Truth , and how the dynamics of the group intertwine with each other A good read for those readers who like a bit grit with their fantasy. Book two of the Deathsworn Arc series follows directly on from the first installment The troubles are far from over for the adventurers The plot moves along at a good pace, without dragging or going over old ground The dynamics between the members of the group also continue to develop nicely If you enjoyed the first book, make sure you read this one as well This is shaping up to be very good fantasy series.Copy received in exchange for an honest review. I just finished and I m still pondering why I liked this book so much I think it s because, as the second book in the series, we ve already killed the dragon so the pressure is off Now all the hijinx that we get into is just a fun but perilous adventure The whole book is the escape scene and I really felt like the problems and their solutions were great, and they all added to the plotline The verkreath were a freaky addition to our standard list of fantasy monsters I think this is a great sequel because everything gets into deeper layers each character from the first novel if they are still alive at this point grows, and we glimpse of their backstories The world around them is revealed and as well Although the novel doesn t end on a cliffhanger per se, I think this whole second novel is building up toward the next book, and so the ending wasn t as satisfying as the first book, it s a lot of setting up for what s going to happen next I enjoyed this book a lot, and I m giving it a higher rating than the first book Maybe these will just keep getting better and better The author gave me a free copy to read, and now I ve had so much fun I m going to go and buy the next book to thank him Book 2 in the Deathsworn Arc series is another one full of adventure and danger This group just keeps running into trouble and they can t seem to avoid it While looking for Callen, the boy they sent away before fighting the dragon, they come upon a town riddled with the plague Everyone in town seems to be dying of it and there are literally pits of dead people To make matters worse, the Servants of the Flame find them and almost kills Korhan in the process It turns out when one threat to the kingdom has been vanquished, pop up in its place The Verkreath are rat men that live deep underground and when the group has to go underground to avoid the Servants, they run into them with some nasty consequences And while Vashni is no doubt very important to the group and a very powerful elf, I cannot help but think that Brael is even powerful than she is I wish we could see of what he can do and have hope of it in the following book All in all, this is one fast paced, adventurous read that is guaranteed to entertain those that are interested in this type of book