Book Review: Wisdom Lost

Wisdom Lost

  • Title: Wisdom Lost
  • Author: Michael Sliter
  • Series: Pandemonium Rising, #2
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
  • Publishing Date: July 1st, 2019
  • Publishing Co.: Dragyn Press
  • Length: 596 pages
  • Format: Kindle Unlimited, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free paperback copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon Link: Wisdom Lost

Ardia is fractured, torn apart by civil war initiated by deceit. Florens has fallen, and the rebel army of Lady Escamilla has been scattered by the Feral. Little stands in the way of the Rostanians and their ruthless rulers seizing the entire country. Amidst this rising conflict, four people seek to stem this tide. Or, to simply survive.

Fenrir, also called the Bull, Coldbreaker, Dukeslayer, and sometimes bastard, has the worst kind of luck. Instead of being dead, pierced by a dozen swords, he finds himself under the control of the most horrible person he knows: his father. And an unwelcome family reunion is made more unpleasant as clandestine and legitimate powers vie for the rule of Rostane.

Meanwhile, Hafgan Iwan breaks an oath to himself—that he would never return home. The hallowed Wasmer city of Hackeneth is not welcoming, particularly as a new god has usurped the old ways. Hafgan is torn between the world he once knew and the one he has created for himself.

Leading the exhausted and haphazard remnants of a rebel army, Lady Emma Breen seeks allies across the border, in the crumbling city of Farrow’s Hold. But when faith clashes with politics, can a faithless former handmaiden hold them all together?

And Merigold Hinter travels across oceans to the fabled Agricorinor with a wish and a warning. The wish? That she may understand her powers and take revenge. The warning? The Feral are coming, and they will tear out the throat of the world.

Final Judgment: 5 Stars

Trigger Warning: Suicide, adult language, sex, graphic violence

With this second book in Pandemonium Rising, author Michael Sliter continues to both torment and awe his readers. The characters have grown, but that may be the only glimpse of hope in this gods-forsaken book. With each passing page, there is a new betrayal, a new obstacle, a new sacrifice waiting to be made. And yet, our protagonists continue to prevail. While the people of Rostane may be losing wisdom, readers may still hold onto hope that this will turn out well–whether that actually happens or not is yet to be known. 

I mentioned in my 5 Star Review of Solace Lost, #1 in Pandemonium Rising, that Sliter’s writing reminds me of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series–the highest of praise coming from me. After reading Wisdom Lost, I stand by my comment. Sliter captivates his audience with realistic and well-rounded characters as they pass through struggle after struggle, both internal and external. Even his secondary characters have authentic lives and emotions to split readers’ allegiances. 

Additionally, his plot is intricate to the point where readers have no clue of what will happen next–a great ploy to use when the characters are about to walk into a trap. Sliter has mastered the cliffhanger one-liners that pepper his novels, most notably at the end of chapters. Just when I start to get comfortable with where the story is going, it changes and I am left hanging in the air, nothing below my feet–just like the characters. As a result, the reader is left in a constant state of suspense, never able to put down the book for want of figuring out–in the words of detective Columbo–just one more question. It absolutely enthralled me through many a late night, as I told myself I’d read just one more chapter… then finally, resignedly, going to bed eight chapters later. 

Although there are some editing errors–a misname here, a mispelled word there, Sliter’s style makes up for it. The writing is both beautiful and coarse, just as his world and characters are, full of witticisms and subtle insults. And perhaps I am more attuned to errors being an English teacher. In fact, I’ll wager most of the (infrequent) errors will go unnoticed by most readers. 

I absolutely loved learning more about the backstory behind the Gods Yetra, Ultner, and Oletta. My next stop is to read Sliter’s prequel, Valley of the Free, which follows the backstory of Ferl, infamous for Ferl’s Company. Each of Sliter’s characters hold so much within them, that I yearn to know more; as much as I can! 

If you enjoy Dark Fantasy and are not afraid of a long, intricate, and amazing story, do not hesitate to pick up this series! I cannot tout it enough. Then, after you finish, let me know what you think in the comments below!

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