Dawn of War is the introduction to Tim Marquitz’s epic fantasy Blood War Trilogy. The central plot line involves a race of monstrous creatures known as the Grol. Previously, they had not been a serious threat to the inhabitants of their world, but through the capture of ancient relics, they have newfound power that makes them not only formidable, but almost unbeatable. Arrin, a disgraced warrior from the land of Lathah, goes to warn his people about the dangers that they face, but the prince of Lathah has a hatred for Arrin and ignores him. In years past the Sha’ree, an ancient and powerful race, would have been able to stop the Grol, but the Sha’ree are dying and now members of various races must unite to stop the Grol.
This novel is a distinct departure in terms of tone and style from Marquitz’s Demon War series, so much so, that it doesn’t even read like the same author. This novel has a more serious tone and tends to be a bit more gritty. The novel has a slow build filled with intrigue from the beginning. The big battle doesn’t come until the very end of the novel and the pace is just about right. There is a large ensemble of characters, which was fairly easy to navigate. The various races, which don’t fit typical epic fantasy categories, can be a bit unwieldy to keep track of and left me confused from time to time. The characters are well-developed. Despite the flaws of some of the protagonists, they are the kind that you want to root for. The writing is top-notch. As expected with the first entry of a trilogy, nothing is resolved in this novel, but the setup is there for the next book in the series, which I eagerly anticipate reading. A must read for fans of epic fantasy.
Carl Alves – author of Blood Street