Sign of the Eight

Two messengers, six allies, fight for survival!

A gateway to a world of the past, of vanished names, hopes and dreams has opened in the depths of the Black Forest. Two messengers have come to our present from the immense sunken realms of time.

Tristan is the messenger of doom. Martha is the messenger of preservation. They used to be lovers, now they are sworn enemies. They have come together to fight one final, decisive battle.

But they cannot fight this fight alone. Both must win allies to fight by their side. Time is of the essence and there can only be a few – everything revolves around the eight, a mystical number that refers to infinity.

Tristan and Martha must search the Black Forest to find six comrades-in-arms to join their fight. Ultimately, five fighters for doom and three fighters for preservation will face each other. And the battle of the eight will continue until only one of them is left and the fate of humanity is sealed.

This was a very quick read with really short chapters, it was so easy to just dip in during a lunch break. This was an ambitious concept and I gave this book 3 stars.

I thought that the premise of this book was just so exciting, I am a huge fan of fantasy novels and quests. It was a battle between good and evil, bother against brother, lover against lover. I enjoyed the gathering of the allies but it felt like there was maybe more behind the selection of the allies that wasn’t mentioned

While there were eight fighters, there were more than eight characters in this book, there were 10 important characters. I did find myself getting confused between some of Tristan’s cronies as they were so similar that it was easy to forget that they were different characters. I enjoyed that the allies weren’t the typical sort of hero characters. With so many characters, I found it difficult to warm towards many of them but I did really enjoy Isobel and the lovely old man with the dog

This book was set in The Black Forest which provided a really atmospheric environment, I am a huge sucker for a story that includes a forest and The Black Forest is possibly the most famous forest I can think of (other than Sherwood). While the book took place in some almost fairytale-like settings, the book was set in the modern era which was an interesting mix. I very much enjoyed the setting of this novel.

I really enjoyed the flashbacks which allowed me to learn more about the relationship between Tristan and Martha. Martha’s history felt unnecessarily violent and abusive. I was very annoyed at the reference to the sexual assault of a character to only existed in reference, it provided nothing to the storyline and wasn’t needed.

I honestly thought that this book was the first in a series. This was because the book took a quite leisurely pace for the first 80% of the novel, the pacing of this was fine as it really let me get into the book. The last 20% felt a little rushed and I was surprised because I thought that this book was building up to the climax which was over very quickly.

I did enjoy the twist in this book, I hoped it would happen and was pleased when it did!

I liked this book, it was ambitious but felt a little rushed in places and I felt like there were a lot of missing explanations. This book included scenes of sexual assault, spousal abuse, racism, xenophobia, violence and anti-semitism, so please bear this in mind if you are picking this up-please look after yourself. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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