Not all book series need to be connected in every way. Sometimes, it’s fun to just explore the same universe, spend time with a side character from a different book, see how the magic and the world evolve. Such is the way with Glen Dahlgren’s The Game of War, which is both book two in his series and a prequel to A Child of Chaos, which I loved.
1. Thoughts on the plot
This book follows Dantess, a priest of war, in his quest to earn enough clout to free his father from War’s prisons. In the midst of his journey, he becomes a great squad leader who participates in the once-in-a-lifetime Game of War, a challenge to see who is the best among the priests and therefore worthy of guarding the Conclave of the Divine. Only, not everthing with the priests and the temples is as it seems.
I really like how this plot turned out. Dantess has such a fascinating backstory for a priest. It almost feels like a reluctant hero situation, but not quite, because he embraces his role quite readily, even eagerly. The circumstances surrounding his role, though, are not at all what a normal priest would expect and that, I think, is what makes this story so fascinating.
2. Thoughts on the characters
As with the first book in the series, the characters here are both varied and deep enough to feel real. Dantess is a great main character, but many of the side characters are just as interesting. I really enjoyed exploring all the different people, their various motivations and resulting actions. I think they were done very well. Except Kevik. He deserved what he got.
3. Favourite part
I think, honestly, the ending was probably my favourite part because it combined everything that we’d seen in the story thus far, even the pieces that were contradictory, and did so in such a way that I could not stop reading until I finished the book. Well done!
My only critique is the situation with Jyn. Why?! That just…nooo!
Overall, I would say that The Game of War was an excellent continuation in the series and I absolutely would recommend this book.