Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Epic Fantasy | Release Date: 30 August 2023 | Series: Brands of Taelgir | Series Book: #2 | Pages: 687 | Indie Author | Review
I’m sitting here, absolutely stunned that I’ve just reached the end of Marked for the Pyre by indie author, M. T. Fontaine. This sequel to the dark fantasy Carved Amidst the Shadows not only features a deep and abiding love, but is a tale of an all-encompassing war which will break the reader’s heart. I know it’s certainly punctured mine, and it’s going to take me a while before I’m okay again! So let’s give you an overview, shall we?
Kaianne and Andreiyes have been busy plotting the demise of the Stewards, so that the royal houses can finally regain control of their respective kingdoms. But to do this they must bring Carved and Marked together, and the enmity between the two factions runs deep. The Carved have suffered genocide at the hands of the Marked for centuries, and the Marked believe all Carved are irredeemable. As war looms and the Stewards gather, can Kaianne and Andreiyes actually change the world? What happens when Master Rau is caught between loyalty to the order and the life of his daughter? And who is this new player on the chessboard, who foresees all options before them?
I want to be coherent as I write this, but to be honest I’m still a little heartbroken and in awe of Fontaine’s Marked for the Pyre. This dark fantasy has had the stakes elevated to a truly deadly place, and I honestly feared for these characters with every newly turned page. If that doesn’t tell you how brilliantly this tale has been written, I don’t know what will! But honestly, the consequences for every single decision are *incredibly* high, and if you’re a wary traveller like me? You have been warned…
Within this dark fantasy, Kaianne now struggles to find the balance between having a voice and learning when to stay silent. Her husband, Prince Andreiyes, is plagued by the consequences of decisions he’s had to make as they prepare for war. Because what Marked for the Pyre does so, so well is deliver multi-faceted characters who live in the morally grey areas. Even Master Rau, whom I think we’d all love to hate, is more than just an evil Steward. And Fontaine hammers this home with every speck of love he shows his daughter, Eybah.
There are monsters of legend within this epic fantasy, all of whom I was delighted to see! But paired with the magic and political system Fontaine gives us? I felt like I was perched on the edge of a cliff, as the darkness of war gathered speed with each new page. Fontaine delivers loyalty, treachery, immense love and grief in Marked for the Pyre. By the end, I was actually in tears. But even though I’m wishing a certain event never happened, this is a happiness boost. Because it’s a gift when an author can make you cry.
No downside for Marked for the Pyre! But oh my goodness it’s going to be hard to wait for the next book in this series.
Marked for the Pyre by indie author M. T. Fontaine is an epic dark fantasy of treachery, love and loyalty. I’m actually still struggling to find the words to describe what this book has done to me! I’d say it’s every bit as good as Carved Amidst the Shadows, but this second instalment in the Brands of Taelgir series has just *completely* blown me away. I love it, even as my heart honestly aches for these characters. Love what you’ve heard from my review? Just click on the link below to pre-order your copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!
You can pre-order Marked for the Pyre via this link: Amazon