As two queens plot each other’s destruction, a small band of adventurers continues its quest for the knowledge needed to defeat the mad King Brutus and his unearthly parasite, the Black Queen. Their search brings Morigan and the Wolf to the perilous forests of Alabion, where they and their companions will face the darkness of their pasts–and discover equally dark destinies. Meanwhile, far from Alabion, the queens of the East and West continue their deadly dance. One seeks a relic of great power, while the other puts her faith in a mix of military and technomagikal force. Both are aware they have a slim window of opportunity to settle their power struggle–after all, Mad Brutus’s recent defeat is at best a setback. The mad king is already amassing a new army of soulless husks in the wastelands of Mor’Khul.
Unknown to the great powers struggling for control, a father and son wander those same wastelands, scavenging what they can as they weather Brutus’s gathering storm. They too have a role to play in Geadhain’s fate–a role which may just provide a last remnant of hope.
Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown
After re-reading Feast of Fates, I was beyond excited and ready to pick up the second book in Four Feasts Till Darkness series. Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown did not disappoint. It went beyond every expectation, dream, hope, and nightmare I could have had. Brown remains an expert at weaving hope and destruction simultaneously with each character, each story, while propelling the overarching plot. There hasn’t been a series in a very long time that has managed to keep me solidly in its grip, paralyzed with emotion.
One of the greatest strengths in making Feast of Dreams so enjoyable is the pacing. The fact that there isn’t a single chapter, a single point-of-view, that bores. Everything has a purpose, propels the multiple layers of story forward. The push and pull of the story sweeps you away until you stop and realize you’ve reached the end and are desperate for more.
With expert pacing, we get fantastic characters. They don’t feel like plot points or placeholders. Every character seems to have a purpose, whether we know it or not, which makes this book so different from the multitude of other fantasy novels. Whether it’s stated or not, you get the feeling that Brown has each character, no matter how minimal, completely fleshed out with a full backstory that we might never actually get to see. With such real characters, we get to experience the joys and heartbreaks that accompany real people. The shades of grey everyone is composed of. Good intentions turn to ash and though you want to fault them, be angry with them, you can’t because you understand their motivations. You understand the situation they were placed in and the limited choices available. Nowhere is this more evident than with poor Queen Lila. The way Brown nudges her character forward, ever so slowly, so subtly, that her downfall comes as the only logical option for her, no matter how sad the outcome. Indeed, with most of the characters, Brown is subtle at leading you down a path that the final destination shocks you, but only because you were foolish enough to miss the signs leading there.
Amazing characters that are so intricately well-defined that they feel real, individual plots that not only further character progression, but also move forward the gargantuan main plot, Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown is a dark fantasy masterpiece. Never does it lag, nor does anything ever feel thrown in simply to move the story along or get words on a page. Truly, the new pinnacle of the fantasy genre. Cannot wait to start the third in the series, Feast of Chaos.
Want to hear more? Listen to me talk about Feast of Dreams on the Pages and Pause Screen podcast.