Grief of the Undying was intriguing dark fantasy mixed with mythology with murder mystery with no romance and setting based on Greek stories.
Grief of the Undying (Ichorian Epics 3) by Emilie Knight
Publication Date : May 11th 2021
Genre : Dark Fantasy / Mythology
Pages : 423
Disclaimer : I received e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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Previous books I read in the series
Time flowed around the Blood Warrior, Pen, who hardly noticed. Stuck in her own personal hell, stories of her powers spread, while she remained hidden.
Now a city that she has wronged is threatened by the Fang of Stymphalia, a serial killer stalking the night, leaving the corpses of women in alleyways with their throats torn out. Queen Aethra expects Pen to find this killer and save her people as penance.
Pen wants to right her wrongs and restore the Warriors’ honor, but she couldn’t protect her own family. How is she meant to save an entire city?
As she hunts the madman, she’s under more than the watchful eye of the queen. A stranger follows her in the shadows, and the gods themselves are watching Pen. She must find the Fang before more blood is spilled, discover the identity of her stalker, and hope the gods will leave her be.
Grief of the Undying was interesting instalment in Ichorian Epics dark fantasy series. It revolved around Pen, now famous for lifting undying curse, trying to make the image blood warriors better by helping queen of Stymphalia. The story was about loss, grief, guilt, regrets, emotional conflicts, friendship, trust, forgiveness, and trying to be better person.
Writing was easy to follow, gripping and fast paced. The story was written in alternative third person narrative from Pen and Raisa’s POV. Setting and character’s name were based on ancient Greek stories.
It took me a while getting into book as it had been long time since I read previous books in this series and honestly forgot few things but there were enough details where necessary to help me recall what happened in previous books. I advise to read this in order as you wouldn’t get world and characters if you haven’t read previous books.
Plot was interesting. I liked the way author mixed fantasy and mythology with murder mystery. Majority of the book was on Pen given a task of finding serial killer murdering women in Stymphalia but there were many things going on along with it. It was interesting to read how Pen would catch the killer with no leads, who was her stalker, what secrets her father kept, what appearance of Gods meant, and how staying and helping Stymphalia getting rid of murderer would change her.
Pen was demigod, daughter of Meniodes (son of Nyx). She was complex and flawed character. Her guilt and grief of losing her family and people getting hurt because of her was palpable. It was the base of her character and it made her who she was now. Her inner conflicts were realistic and touching. I felt bad for her. I could understand her anger and frustration and why she wasn’t good with people. I could see how easily people formed assumptions about her, jumped to conclusion without knowing her or her power. I liked how slowly and gradually she was coming out of her shell, instead of running away from people she was letting people in her life and her grief, and learning to rely on help from others.
I liked Raiza. We know her more in this book. She was closest to Pen after losing Tallus. I loved her for watching Pen’s back. I agree with people around her, she shouldn’t hide the identity and things about her daughter’s father. It caused so much trouble.
Other secondary characters were interesting. I liked growing friendship between Pen and Palamedes after initial disagreements and misunderstanding. I liked how Palamedes came around at the end and both tried to be better while solving the case of serial killer.
I liked Pen and Raiza’s journey from Kression to Stymphalia. It helped in understand geography and situation of Ichorisis more. I also liked knowing more about Pen’s family, village she lived in before she lost them, and her extended family. Description of cities and characters were well written. There wasn’t much of legends and myth in this but Gods’ appearance and their relation with Pen was interesting.
I enjoyed mystery of serial killer. It was chilling and dark. I couldn’t guess who was the killer until it was revealed. The reason or motif was surprising and it was also left a bit mysterious. Mystery of Gods appearance was still unanswered but it was hinted to be revealed in next books. I could guess Pen’s stalker as it was obvious and also suspected the reason which was revealed just after the climax. Climax was tense and sad. End was shocking with a minor cliff-hanger.
Why 4.5 stars-
I cannot exactly pinpoint it but felt I wanted something more, may be more legends and mythology in this world. There was nothing wrong with book.
Overall, Grief of the Undying was intriguing, mysterious, fast paced and well written dark fantasy. If you enjoy adult dark fantasy with no romance, world based on Greek stories, and fantasy mixed with mystery, I recommend this book.
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