Title: The Tempter’s Bane
Author: Kyle McCurry
The Tempter’s Bane, the second in Kyle McCurry’s fantasy series, picks up where The Fleeing Company left off. After Adroegen and his friends, Caitren, Edelbir, Kattalin, Vaenn, and Gleowan slayed the goblin chief and destroyed the Night’s Jewel, the company quickly finds themselves in peril once again when the defeated chief’s goblin lieutenant hunts the group of friends down to deliver them to his master, Vyroun.
The six heroes quickly become separated, each facing as great of dangers as they had before, but this time, alone. Each has a task they must complete in order to defeat Vyroun, whose army is quickly descending from the North. Just when all seems lost, a secret a thousand years in the making is revealed, illuminating the path for good to vanquish evil once and for all.
The Temper’s Bane begins with a brief recap of The Fleeing Company, enough for readers who read the first book in the series to be reminded of the key plot points, but not quite enough to be able to jump into the second book without having read the first. The author keeps readers interested by putting the characters in seemingly hopeless situations, but at the last second using the resources at their disposal to find a path forward.
While The Forgotten Company focused on the protagonist’s strength as a group, learning to trust one another and grow their friendship, The Tempter’s Bane puts that friendship to the test and dives into each of the characters as individuals. Instead of looking at them as a unit, readers will get to know each of the heroes and truly see how far they’ve come and how much they’ve grown as a result of their adventures thus far.
The Temper’s Bane incorporates well-crafted lore that drives the story but doesn’t overshadow plot points. The lore is intricately woven into the story, and the author uses secrets and well-timed reveals to create intrigue and suspense.
The dialogue is Medieval in nature, bringing readers back to the times of knights and princesses, wizards and dragons; however, the writing style, specifically the dialogue, leaves something to be desired. There are several instances where dialogue reverts to Yoda-like sentence structure, sometimes requiring the sentence to be re-read in order to fully grasp the meaning. Additionally, dialogue is often used to state the obvious, or repeat information that was already said earlier in the book, detracting from the impact of the dialogue.
A common theme that will resonate with readers is Adroegen’s internal struggle with finding his own path and maintaining faith in Enilundar, the book’s God-like figure that has created all species of man and beast alike. Though Adroegen has lost faith in this higher power due to the loss and grief he has been forced to deal with in his short life, his experiences allow him to realize that he has a purpose to fulfill on this Earth. Though he might not know what his designated path is, he learns that it will reveal itself as he walks along, and that one cannot know light without also seeing the dark. This is a powerful sentiment that many readers may find mirror their own ideals and struggles.
The Temper’s Bane introduces exciting lore, strong heroes, and page-turning adventure, ending in an epic battle of good versus evil. The author brings battles to life in this classic work of fantasy. Readers will quickly fall in love with Adroegen and his friends, rooting for them even when all seems lost.
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