Dagger and Scythe (The Ichorian Epics # 2) by Emilie Knight
Publication Date: October 1st 2019 by Emilie Lassaline
Genre: Dark Fantasy / Mythology
Dagger and Scythe spent good decade’s together, stalking human prey at night, and taking out the targets the god Maniodes deems worthy. With one hundred years under her belt, Scythe is comfortable in her ways, and takes incredible enjoyment of her skills. Dagger may be new to the undead order, but he’s relishing in the work. The two of them together set beautiful bonfires, with the occasional corpse inside that fire.
When they enjoy each other’s time a little too much, and an entire village burns down because of it, Maniodes becomes sick of their rogue behavior. Regular punishments haven’t worked on either of them, so he tries something new: marrying them to each other. To keep each other in line or they’ll both end up properly dead.
Both have grown tired of the god’s odd punishments and lazy control, taking over his throne and the land of the dead should fix things.
Her scythe is perfectly curved for slicing.
His dagger, made of folded steel, is ready to strike.
But are they strong enough to take on gods?
Previous book I read in the series-
*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author for the copy. ***
Dagger and Scythe was dark fantasy that had a bit of romance, mythology and lots of gore. It revolved around Dagger and Scythe, main characters of the book married off with each other as punishment by God of Underworld and their uncomfortable married life filled with bloodlust and rebellion against God. It was about respecting humans, treating and leading those under your power with respect, loved, and friendship.
First the writing was good, fast paced, gripping and dark. Author didn’t hesitate in detailing the slaughter, butchery and human torture. I don’t usually wince on reading these much gore but I have to say Dagger and Scythe’s torture ideas sent chills through me, and they were not just ideas. I was horrid reading what they were doing to their subjects. I tell you, this is real disturbing, filled with blood and mutilation, and characters with questionable moral. If you can stomach that you would like it.
Though it is second in series, it can be read standalone. The writing was good, steady paced, gripping and dark. Author didn’t hesitate in detailing the slaughter, butchery and human torture. I don’t usually wince on reading these much gore but I have to say Dagger and Scythe’s torture ideas sent chills through me, and they were not just ideas. I was horrid reading what they were doing to their subjects. I tell you, this is real disturbing, filled with blood and mutilation, and characters with questionable moral. If you can stomach that you would like it.
World building was best. Whatever complain I had for the first book was settled in this. First books explored the land of livings while this explored land of dead in detail. Landscape of Skiachora, its inhabitants, palace of Maniodes, Nyx and her children, Incruetus Ferrum and their odd jobs and powers all were described flawlessly. I especially liked the legends around Nyx and her children, how she created them, their mistake and punishments that they still have to abide. Oh and Maniodes’ library was most marvelous. It would be among most fascinating libraries in fantasy world.
Dagger and Scythe were not really likable, not at least in the first half of the book. Both were dangerous, rebellious, violent and disrespectful of both their Gods and humans. Dagger was calm, little restrained, sensible and diplomatic while Scythe was reckless, extremely volatile and chaotic. Together they made deadly combination, so deadly that they burned whole village just for fun. That was what started the series of punishments, jobs testing their restrains and what they were learning from it.
It started with their first punishment by Maniodes– God of Underworld and Son of Nyx, Goddess of Death- who forced them to marry each other. That made them even more spiteful and rebellious against Maniodes. Maniodes was not that bad but treated all Incruentus Ferrum (other dead minions of Maniodes, like Scythe and Dagger, who did his bidding by killing people to restore order) lowly, never considered their wishes and feelings and disbanded some for their smallest mistake. Scythe and Dagger couldn’t take it anymore and decide to go against him, main plan was to overthrow him but this was God they were talking about. How would they go against Maniodes whose touch can kill their very essence and soul, they could lose their second lives and put all other ferrum in danger? And then Nyx had some plans for them too, were they in their favor or against them? Would she let them take over her son’s throne?
It was interesting to read their story. I had no idea how they were going to do it, what clue they will find or how they will execute the plan. Most fascinating was characters’ stories and their development, their growing relation with sentries and other Ferrums. No matter how unlikable and scary Dagger and Scythe were, once they started feeling the change in them, I ended up liking them both.
I was wondering why they were so cruel, violent and heartless, because they were all nice in the previous life and after what they have gone through they should have compassion, maybe not for all, but for someone who had similar life as theirs. I’m glad author covered that part in the book as well which was important, was in the center of character development.
Romance was also great. Both characters knew each other for long time, flirted even but marriage came with complex and confusing emotions in their friendship. They both felt emotions that they never experienced in ages- jealousy, lust, worry, love, protectiveness, fear of losing other. The relation that was forced on to them actually brought out best in them. They made perfect pair like yin and yang.
I liked how all events took place. Snooping and sneaking was exciting, it brought surprising twist. Climax was action packed, bitter, edgy, and uncertain. It was most interesting to read the next events. Lot of things happened and end was fair and as I expected. I knew in whose favor it would be as I have read first book. I wouldn’t want it in other way.
Overall, it was gripping, creepy, twisted and dark fantasy with elements of mythology, paranormal romance, and a good character development.
What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book or previous one in series? Are you going to add it to TBR? Are you fan of Dark Fantasy? Tell me you favorite in this genre.
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