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Review of War of the Black Tower by Jack Conner (All 3 Volumes)

First off, there are still 8 days left to participate in my charity promotion for the ASPCA. See details here. Secondly, I’m reviewing all three books at once for the War of the Black Tower series.

waroftheblacktowerOverall, I’ve rated each book 3 out of 5 Stars

Part One

This was a nicely fast paced read. There was action from beginning to end. I like action, so, naturally, I liked this story. I don’t have tons to say about this book. The plot was nothing incredibly new, which never bothers me. As I’ve said, it’s characters that will get me to love a book. While the characters in War of the Black Tower are not developed to my taste, there was still enough to keep me interested in the series. Matter of fact, I was invested at the end of book one and immediately bought book two. Why? Well, though Baleron wasn’t as intense of a character as I would normally flock to, he had just enough to hook me to the story, which, as I said, moved fast so it made up for Baleron’s slightly above average appeal to me.

I wish I would have been shown more of his “roguishness” from the beginning. He might bed a married lady, but I never got a feel for just how horrible that was for the world I was in. I did enjoy reading about his desire to please his father, and his continual failures to do so. It made you want to cheer for the guy, even if you wanted to slap him at the same time. The other characters did nothing for me. I wasn’t drawn into any other stories, but what happened to Baleron in the temple interested me enough to keep reading the series. I wanted to see how it would play out.

It states clearly in the title that this is a dark fantasy. It has some great, incredibly entertaining gore (I’m a girl who loves my gore), which pleasantly surprised me. There is sex and torture, so if that’s not your thing, I’d steer clear. I will say, there were some amazing descriptions in this book.

Overall, a quick, entertaining read.

Part Two

Sooooo, I might be saying some tiny tidbits that could be considered spoilers (but, after all, Baleron is referred to as the “doomed prince” in the description).

I had a harder time making it through this book compared to the last. The story moved fast, just not in the way I like. The middle was more focused around sieges, so I tended to get bored at times. It takes a lot to keep me interested in full scale battle scenes. Again, nothing incredibly new in regards to storyline, but I still enjoyed where it was going.

Once again, I felt a pang of sympathy for Baleron in trying to win his father’s approval, and in this story, we get a good look at the King of Havensrike. Despite myself, I kinda liked him. He was a hard ass, a complete jerk to his son, but I found myself liking him. I liked the dragon, but everyone else stayed below my radar.

In the beginning, I was really drawn into Baleron’s Doom. I found it interesting to see where it was heading. Towards the end, I was growing increasingly annoyed with it. It seemed to not be taken as seriously as it should, and many horrible things could have been prevented. Still, it intrigued me enough to overlook that stuff and still enjoy the story. I will say, there was one development that totally caught me off guard, something I never saw coming, and I loved that part!

Once again, this is labeled as a dark fantasy and rightfully so. There is rape, torture, and wonderfully gory scenes.

So, overall I’m starting to lose a bit of interest, but I went ahead and bought the third book. After getting this invested, I need to know the outcome.

Part Three

Well, it’s over and none too soon. It’s a story of confrontations, death, and torture. Again, I may mention stuff that could be considered spoilers.

First thing I must mention here is that I’m thoroughly annoyed that no where on the book cover does it give you the volume number. Sure, it’s in the description when buying, but once you have all three in your Kindle library, there’s no way to tell them apart. Having the same cover and title doesn’t bother me at all, but the volume number should be listed on the cover somewhere!

At this point in the story, I’m done with the Doom. It is so ridiculously obvious, yet everyone still lets Baleron into their confidences, a nasty idiocy that started showing itself in book two. Now, it’s full blown lunacy! I’m sitting there rolling my eyes. Sure, give Baleron a sword and see what happens, you idiots.

That said, there are some very sad scenes in this book and it truly earns its place in dark fantasy. Still loved the gore. And despite my beefs with parts of the story, I really felt bad for Baleron and the stuff he had to endure.

The ending was drawn out. I was 70% in and feeling like at any moment it would be the final confrontation. Be prepared for a lengthy string of climatic events.

Also, I felt everything got a little redundant in the writing and story. After reading all three, it kinda seemed like we never moved anywhere. The characters never really changed, except maybe Baleron. Yet, do we really know? We never saw him placed back in a comfy home with all the old temptations to see if how he perceives himself in book three is actually who he turns into. Again, I never got the feeling we evolved completely. Furthermore, there was nothing new to the storyline. Same ol’ good guys, same ol’ bad guys. I didn’t really learn anything new, there wasn’t a lot of character growth, and nothing shocking. Well, one thing might be considered shocking, but I kinda saw it coming, so it didn’t surprise me as much. I guess, in the end, I just wanted something a little more complex to separate each book.

So in conclusion to the overall series, they were incredibly fast reads (average of 250 pages each), and it was an entertaining story that helped me get through a rather lazy weekend.

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