*Cover and Synopsis from Goodreads
Something ancient has awoken. Primordial and wholly evil, a living shadow emerges from a prison made weak by the magical cataclysm called The Black. Now the Sleeper stalks the land in search of its old enemies, leaving a trail of madness and destruction in its wake.Helpful Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Website
Eric Cross, a Southern Claw warlock, has been sent to find the Woman in the Ice, the only known means to stopping this evil. Aided by a grizzled ranger and a band of wardens and inmates from a sadistic prison, Cross’ mission will bring him into conflict with an array of foes: the barbaric Gorgoloth, vampire shock troops out of the Ebon Cities, and a cadre of mercenary nihilists called the Black Circle.
On a mission that will take him from a lost temple once ruled by insidious wolf sorcerers to the vicious gladiator games of the vampire city-state of Krul to the deadly ruins of an ice city, Cross will play a pivotal role in an ancient conflict whose outcome will determine the future of the world.
Return to the world of Blood Skies in this exciting military fantasy adventure!
My Review: 5 Must Devour
The world is still at war and Eric Cross is directly in the middle of it. Eric is in search of the one thing that can stop the new evil that has awoken, the Sleeper. But while on his search he becomes the target of this ancient evil. Now in a race against time, Eric and his group of mismatched miscreants have to beat the evil to the Ice ruins that hold the secret to saving them all, the Woman in the Ice. And he will be forced to do things he never thought he could and go places he never wanted to go as Eric's skill as a warlock and Southern Claw soldier are put to the ultimate test.
I have to say that I love the hero in this story, Eric Cross. He is definitely not your typical hero. He's not the biggest, strongest, most powerful, the best fighter or best looking. All in all he is pretty average, but it is the way he handles himself when put into seemingly impossible situations that amazes me. This is where he becomes the true hero, this is where he shines, where his smarts and tenacity pay off. When most would back down or run for the hills, Eric takes charge, hardens himself and is the first on the line. Always willing to risk his life before anyone else's. In Black Scars Eric is no longer the timid warrior we saw in Blood Skies. Hardened by battle and loss Cross becomes just the hero the Southern Claw needs.
And I loved the characters that surrounded Eric in Black Scars, especially the mismatched band of miscreants he relies on to find the Woman in the Ice. With my favorite being Kane, the fierce warrior and often funny inmate whose fate got tied to Cross. I loved to hate Danica and often wished that I could jump in the book and choke her, but she proved to be a warrior that I didn't mind seeing by Eric's side. I think Danica and Eric balance each other out and could make a pretty unstoppable team. And as usual Steven Montano does not fail to deliver amazing dark creatures. Of course bringing back his incredibly dark and haunting vampires that remind us of to be afraid of creatures that go bump in the night.
Black Scars, in true Steven Montano fashion was a dark fantasy where the heroes were put up against impossible odds, great loss and evil so dark even the vampires shudder. The story is so well written that you don't even realize when it has sucked you in, delivering you to that dark place you never knew you hungered for, and brings forth monsters and creatures that would haunt the minds of the innocent.
Favorite Character Moment:
"Everyone has scars. And yet here I sit, scarred and beaten...and coming back for more." (kindle, loc. 10666).
I chose this line from Eric because I think it really defines who he is as a character and shows his fierce dedication to what he does.
"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."