I really enjoy reading author Andy Peloquin’s books. The first book in this series, Blade of the Destroyer: The Last Bucelarii: Book 1, made it into my top three favorite reads for 2015. This is the continuing saga of the Hunter of Voramis who is the last of the Bucelarii, demon-human hybrids, created to be killers serving the Abiarazi, their non-human progenitors. The setting of this book is the dry desert region of Einan. It has the feel of 12th to 16th century Persia with minarets in the architecture, scimitars for some of the weaponry, colorful burka type apparel, and horses bred for traveling across the desert sands.
At end of the last book the Hunter rescued a young child from a demon in Malandria. He vowed to protect Hailen who is a child touched by the illusionist. In his innocence Hailen has no comprehension of why anyone would want to hurt him. This story bumps up against issues of pedophilia, child slavery and human trafficking but does not go into any detail that I feel it would be too difficult for sensitive natures to read. Though the hint of such things might be a trigger for people who are actual victims. In this book the Hunter has to do things that his human side does not want to do in order to fulfill the promise to himself to protect this child. The internal battle between himself and the voices of the demon in his head and his dagger, Soulhunger, rages on throughout the book. The voices continually demanding he kill for the sake of feeding their lust for death and his human nature refusing to take orders from these voices to kill without purpose. In the Hunter’s mind the child keeps him anchored to his humanity.
There is a lot of action in this author’s stories and this book is no exception. He does an excellent job writing fighting scenes that capture my attention and when the tide turns against the protagonist I find myself cheering him on even though he is an assassin, therefore bad by nature. When situational circumstances are not in his favor I find myself hoping that he will find a way out and wondering how he’ll get out of a of his bad situation. There are moments when the goodness of his humanity does shine through.
There was one element in the book that I had suspected might have significance but I wasn’t sure if it would even be revealed in this book. I did not have a clear idea of what the importance would be until the immediate paragraphs before it was revealed. I thought it made a nice plot twist at the end. Although having a twist didn’t surprise me I had no idea know how it would manifest until the last minute. I liked the way it was handled and how this twist leads into the next book of the series giving additional purpose to the continuing adventure.
I would recommend it to anyone from age 13 to 100 + who enjoys dark fantasy.