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Black Scars (Blood Skies, Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 260 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Cross is such a multilayered protagonist that I am invested in him. Montano shows us vulnerability, introspection, fear, loneliness, and sensitivity in this character. He is also a maelstrom of violence when needed and a killing machine. Loss of those he loves and cares for is his constant. Magic is a weapon, a solace, and a burden for this warlock.
I am very engaged by the series and invested in the story. I highly recommend.
Mr. Montano's descriptive prose is so painstakingly beautiful you are in the moment with his characters at every turn. The sights, sounds, and even the smells almost sent me into sensory over load on more than one occasion. Cross' characterization is breathlessly crafted to the point where I could fall in love with his commitment and sensitivity and abhor his carnal cruelty in the same sentence. From the Vampire Gladiator Pit of Krul, to the tunnels under the deadly Ice City, Eric Cross is stripped of his humanity and left to face the enemy as a raw and ruthless machine powered by arcane magic. Bound on an ethereal level to those he neither likes nor trusts, Cross steps into the jaws of hell itself.
Military fantasy is normally not my first choice for an entertaining read. However, if high adventure in a military `blood and guts' sort of way is your thing Black Scars won't disappoint. If, like me, you enjoy fantasy that draws you into each scene, creates a character that you want to take home to heal, and thrives in a world where despair is the norm yet hope is offered by the warriors who willingly sacrifice themselves, you not only will not be disappointed, you might find yourself craving more.
I really liked this story. I loved Eric Cross. The world after The Black is a frightening one made bearable by the Warriors devoted to their craft. Consider this a woman's view of a genre usually dominated by the guys. Mr. Montano is an author who speaks to the soul, not just your gender.
I have to say that I love the hero in this story, Eric Cross. He is definitely not your typical hero. He's not the biggest, strongest, most powerful, the best fighter or best looking. All in all he is pretty average, but it is the way he handles himself when put into seemingly impossible situations that amazes me. This is where he becomes the true hero, this is where he shines, where his smarts and tenacity pay off. When most would back down or run for the hills, Eric takes charge, hardens himself and is the first on the line. Always willing to risk his life before anyone else's. In Black Scars Eric is no longer the timid warrior we saw in Blood Skies. Hardened by battle and loss Cross becomes just the hero the Southern Claw needs.
And I loved the characters that surrounded Eric in Black Scars, especially the mismatched band of miscreants he relies on to find the Woman in the Ice. With my favorite being Kane, the fierce warrior and often funny inmate whose fate got tied to Cross. I loved to hate Danica and often wished that I could jump in the book and choke her, but she proved to be a warrior that I didn't mind seeing by Eric's side. I think Danica and Eric balance each other out and could make a pretty unstoppable team. And as usual Steven Montano does not fail to deliver amazing dark creatures. Of course bringing back his incredibly dark and haunting vampires that remind us of to be afraid of creatures that go bump in the night.
Black Scars, in true Steven Montano fashion was a dark fantasy where the heroes were put up against impossible odds, great loss and evil so dark even the vampires shudder. The story is so well written that you don't even realize when it has sucked you in, delivering you to that dark place you never knew you hungered for, and brings forth monsters and creatures that would haunt the minds of the innocent.