Wrapping up GrimDarkTober here with … More dark fantasy! Back in August, I was lucky enough to participate in a book tour for The Skald’s Black Verse, and knew that I needed to read The Weeping Sigil sooner rather than later. As always, I’ll keep this one 99% spoiler free.
I eventually bought the audiobook and despite that and despite enjoying the narration quite a bit, I ended up reading the second half pretty quickly. Fully recommend checking out this series if you like dark fantasy, folklore, and fast paced action with some scifi elements.
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: The Weeping Sigil
- Series: The Dreadbound Ode, #2
- Author: Jordan Loyal Short
- Publisher & Release: Self, 2020
- Length: 337 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Here’s the synopsis:
Adrift in the void, Henrik’s rescue is only a prelude to slavery.
But his new life on Tyria is not at all what he expected. When the illustrious House of Quoll purchases him, Henrik finds himself living in the home of his old enemy, Prefect Brasca Quoll. Desperate to hide the truth of his last days on Heimir, Henrik dives into the murderous game of Tyrianite politics. Devastated by the catastrophe on the Norn homeworld, the Federation teeters on the brink of civil war.
While the Shining Ones maneuver their champions for the final confrontation, Henrik’s fevered visions unveil the scope of Moriigo’s nightmarish rebellion.
Aboard a stolen voidcraft, Brohr and Lyssa hurtle into the depths of the starry abyss, on a desperate exodus in search of safe haven. But the outer reaches of the system are full of strange worlds, haunted ruins, and bizarre cults.
As anarchy grips the streets of Tyria, Henrik vows to reveal the true peril facing the Federation: Moriigo’s return! While rival electors, assassins, and federal inquisitors plot the downfall of House Quoll, Henrik must bind himself to the future of his onetime enemies, lest the horrors of his prophetic visions come to pass
So this one picks up right where The Skald’s Black Verse left off. The Skoljan refugees are heading towards Brohr’s blue planet but have no idea why, and Henrik is adrift in space awaiting rescue.
I think this one excelled most by introducing a lot of new places and people to the world. Descriptions of the Clockwork and other marvels of the new worlds kept me interested. Seeing the grand Roman-esque world of Tyria and it’s politics and intrigue. Terrifying void creatures that actually just wanted to cuddle each other? Ok. I’m down.
Probably the best thing about the book is that I just like Short’s writing. For a self published book these are exceptionally well edited, and the audio (narrated by Aaron Smith) sounded amazing too.
I think I mentioned the little chapter preludes in book one’s review. They’re occasionally just anecdotes or parts of texts but often add a lot to the world. We finally learn what the Dreadbound are because of these little excerpts so I definitely recommend paying attention to them. Anything quoted from text or prophecy (or heresy)? ends up being if not important, at least interesting.
Henrik and Brohr are still the two main points of view, but now we also get to meet a raider captain named Petra and of all people, Brostar Quoll (Brasca’s father). I actually liked the Henrik storyline the best in this one as we see him become a pawn of prophecy, blinded, and wreaking all sorts of amazing havoc in Tyria. I didn’t even dislike Brostar, he seemed like a much better person than his son. The little kid was cute too and I’m more than a little afraid for his future. All the political intrigue, plotting, betrayal, and prophecy tied into this storyline was amazing.
Not that Brohr’s storyline was dull, but I can only take so much screeching and bloodshed. I liked the segment regarding the “shit luck” of the people, because it’s a real dark fantasy trope for characters to just keep making the best out of whatever is left to them. It’s certainly sad to see every ounce of the Norn refugee’s hope stamped out but I just feel like Brohr is heading towards his part in this inevitable war of the gods, and it’s not as interesting yet. I never liked Lyssa nor cared about her either so… my bad, more Henrik please!
No one had asked him if he wanted to be haunted, to be cursed, a butcher, a horror. He did not walk a path of freedom, but one of fate. She would understand. The sagas needed monsters (p. 253)
So yeah, there wasn’t much hope here at all. It kept getting darker, and darker, and darker, right until the end. There’s more magic, more prophecy, more of everything, and I’m probably to jump right into book three and have absolutely no regrets about it.