A Time of Dread by John Gwynne

Rating: 4/5

What It’s About:


A race of warrior angels, the Ben-Elim, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands, but their peace is brutally enforced.

In the south, hotheaded Riv is desperate to join the Ben-Elim’s peacekeeping force, until she unearths a deadly secret.

In the west, the giantess Sig investigates demon sightings and discovers signs of an uprising and black magic.

And in the snowbound north, Drem, a trapper, finds mutilated corpses in the forests. The work of a predator, or something far darker?
It’s a time of shifting loyalties and world-changing dangers. Difficult choices need to be made. Because in the shadows, demons are gathering, waiting for their time to rise…


The Review

It has been awhile since I’ve read an epic fantasy. I tend to stay away from them since they are often pretty long books. Thankfully, I enjoyed A Time of Dread and there were many things that made it such a good book. The premise of the story kind of reminded me of the Blizzard game Diablo with the whole angels vs demons thing. I struggled to get into the book at first because the author spent alot of time building up the story and characters. Which I can understand since it is an epic fantasy. At about 40% of the way through, things started to pick up and I couldn’t put the book down! There were several reveals and plot twists that surprised me. It made the story quite fun with the added drama.

A Time of Dread is told from 4 different points of view. Drem and Olin (Drem’s father), who make a living trapping animals, were my favorite characters. I liked their overall story, personalities, and their simple way of life. The relationship between the father and son also had a nice development. Sig, a seasoned orc warrior, and her crew were also some of my favorite characters. The camaraderie between them and seeing how they go into battle together was entertaining. I also loved that their unit included a fierce bear mount, wolven hounds, and an intelligent talking crow. I had a hard time connecting to the other two main characters, Riv and Bleda, but their roles in the story got more interesting towards the end of the book.

One thing that I didn’t realize is that A Time of Dread is a series that takes place a century after Gwynne’s other series, The Faithful and the Fallen, which are both set in the Banished Lands. I wish I had known that before I bought the book so I could start with The Faithful and the Fallen. That being said, I still enjoyed reading A Time of Dread not having read the first series.

Final Thoughts

I normally am not a series reader, but I’m actually open to continuing the Of Blood and Bone series. I do want to mention that this book has a alot of gore and some battle violence. Something to keep in mind if you don’t like that type of thing. The characters and storyline were amazing and I plan to keep an eye out for the second book to read. I also have Gwynne’s A Shadow of the Gods on my Kindle which I’m looking forward to reading at some point.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought.


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