Author: Stephen Zimmer
Title: Thunder Horizon
Series: Dark Sun Dawn Series
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Thunder Horizon in exchange for a fair review. When authors send me a book, they know that I will take my time getting through it and will look at the pros and cons before rating the book. That said, I’m human and try to be impartial, but I try. As a Book Dragon, I claim responsibility for this review. May the powers of the Book Dragons be with you. For more Book Dragon info, check out my post How to Read Like a Book Dragon. Oh, and this isn’t the first Zimmer book I’ve read – I read Exodus Gate, Crown of Vengeance, and Heart of a Lion.
About the book: This is the second book in the Dark Sun Dawn Series, published in 2017 by Seventh Star Press. Rayden Valkyrie is a warrior from a Northern tribe who fights for her code of honor. Rayden leads warriors through wit and experience. She makes friends and enemies along the way.
About the author: Stephen Zimmer is a fantasy writer who wields a pen like a sword. He is a filmmaker and author. He wrote the Fires in Eden series, the Harvey and Solomon tales, the Hellscapes collections, and the Rising Dawn saga.
Rayden Valkyrie returned to the Gessa after years fighting enemies only to find more trying to kill the tribe that took her in when she was a child. She takes on mortal and supernatural antagonists while standing by her code and her friends.
With each stage of the book, the enemies got eviler and stakes mounted.
I got to see Hamicar again – I love that character.
Blood, death, and gore! I love the fight scenes. Each time I read them, I learn a bit more about grueling death scenes. Also, the characters in the book follow consistent logic – and when what’s happening is questionable, they explain why it’s that way – this is good because it separates this world from our own – not all animals will act the same, and if spooked by an enemy, will go closer to settlements and not the enemy it’s most afraid of.
“Rayden’s axe opening a growing cavity in the beast’s back, blood, bits of flesh, and fur flew.” Stephen Zimmer, Thunder Horizon
There is a unifying theme of the book – we’re in a fight for all humankind, not just one tribe. Eigon said, “Sometimes being a human is a greater bond than the tribe one is a part of.” Solid quote – and so true.
My favorite line: “The blood is not so different as you may think.” Eigon, Thunder Horizon by Stephen Zimmer
Okay, I’m adding a character to the pros – Manak of the Varganir was interesting. I also liked the differentiation of the Varganir’s speech patterns – it set the species apart from the humankind. I do want to know where Manak learned the human language, but that’s a story for another day.
It was difficult for me to remember which species was which – mostly because the names were similar, but after a while it worked it’s way out. I was hoping for new fantasy creatures as antagonists, but the Arguntier were possessed animals – that was interesting, but I was hoping for darker original enemies.
No spoilers because I don’t do them, but one of my favorite characters was killed off – okay, that’s not necessarily a con, but I liked the character…and it was necessary to the plot. Okay, I just wanted him to live for forever in the halls of wherever they go after death…
There was one point where I think it was just violence for violence sake – the death was drawn out and could have been quicker.
Bad guys in the shadows, rising tension, blades, axes, friends, and enemies…this is a book to read when you want big action and characters who get into hot water and somehow try to wriggle out of it. Rayden Valkyrie is a solid character who fights both supernatural and mortal enemies. I want to know what happens next.
My rating: 4 stars