Veil of the Deserters: Bloodsounder's Arc Book Two

( 3 )


Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail Bloodsounder, and attempts to counter this sickness have proven ineffectual. The Syldoonian Emperor, Cynead, has solidified his power in unprecedented ways, and Braylar and company are recalled to the capital to swear fealty. Braylar must decide if he can trust his sister, Soffjian, with the secret that is killing him. She has powerful memory magics that might be able to save him from Bloodsounder’s effects, but she has political ...
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Veil of the Deserters

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Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail Bloodsounder, and attempts to counter this sickness have proven ineffectual. The Syldoonian Emperor, Cynead, has solidified his power in unprecedented ways, and Braylar and company are recalled to the capital to swear fealty. Braylar must decide if he can trust his sister, Soffjian, with the secret that is killing him. She has powerful memory magics that might be able to save him from Bloodsounder’s effects, but she has political allegiances that are not his own. Arki and others in the company try to get Soffjian and Braylar to trust one another, but politics in the capital prove to be complicated and dangerous. Deposed emperor Thumarr plots to remove the repressive Cynead, and Braylar and Soffjian are at the heart of his plans. The distance between “favored shadow agent of the emperor” and “exiled traitor” is unsurprisingly small. But it is filled with blind twists and unexpected turns. Before the journey is over, Arki will chronicle the true intentions of Emperor Cynead and Soffjian.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Capt. Braylar Killcoin and his army are summoned by Emperor Cynead back to the snake pit of the imperial court. They have no choice but to obey, abandoning hard-won gains in mid-campaign. Between them and their destination are lands filled with overt enemies and treacherous allies. Surviving the journey will require cunning and well-timed violence, with little space for mercy or common decency. Worse, winning their home is no surety of safety. This gritty sequel to Scourge of the Betrayer (2013) begins in media res and moves swiftly toward a cliffhanger; readers fond of ongoing, episodic fiction won’t mind the lack of closure. Salyards makes energetic use of familiar tropes, from the band of jaded, cynical ruffians who follow the captain to the backstabbing courtiers; he provides a reliable dose of grimdark fantasy, albeit without tremendous originality. (July)
From the Publisher

Veil of the Deserters is everything I was looking for in the highly anticipated follow-up to Scourge of the Betrayer. What Jeff Salyards has crafted here is a rare sequel that actually manages to outdo the first. . . . Paced exceptionally well throughout, it also has the kind of killer climax that manages to completely satisfy, while still leaving the reader desperate for more.”— Beauty in Ruins

“Jeff Salyards creates a vibrant tapestry of betrayal, intrigue, and brotherhood. In Veil of the Deserters, conspirators weave plots within plots in a land where memory can be wielded like a weapon. Salyards’s characters are bold and complex as they clash upon the world’s stage. The magic is refreshingly innovative. This is one you don’t want to miss.”
—Jon Sprunk, author of the Shadow saga

“Mix a dash of Lord of the Rings and the Riyria Revelations with a pinch of the Broken Empire and you’ve got a taste of the Bloodsounder’s Arc. Dark, witty, and full of wonder, Salyards’s characters scream from the page.”
—Tim Marquitz, author of the Demon Squad series and Embers of an Age

Veil of the Deserters builds upon the promise of Scourge of the Betrayer, continuing Salyards’s unique blend of gritty realism, brutal action, and thoughtful introspection even as the story deepens with a host of intriguing revelations. If you’ve any taste for military fantasy, read these books!”
—Courtney Schafer, author of The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City

“Jeff Salyards continues to impress with Veil of the Deserters, second in his Bloodsounder’s Arc, chronicling the adventures of Captain Braylar Killcoin and his company of soldiers. Told from the point of view of a young scribe, Veil of the Deserters gives us a believable and brutal world filled with believable and brutal characters, dark machinations, and political intrigue. A fast, fun read for fans of gritty, well-told fantasy.”
—Ken Scholes, author of the Psalms of Isaak series

Veil of the Deserters is a gritty military fantasy with intriguing world building and grimly dark magic, as well as complex, interesting characters.”
—Martha Wells, author of the Books of the Raksura series

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597804905
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Series: Bloodsounder's Arc Series , #2
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 431,761
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Salyards

Jeff Salyards grew up in a small town north of Chicago. While it wasn't Mayberry, it was quiet and sleepy, so he got started early imagining his way into other worlds that were loud, chaotic, and full of irrepressible characters. While he ultimately moved away, he never lost his fascination for the fantastic. Though his tastes have grown a bit darker and more mature over the years. Jeff lives near Chicago with his wife and three daughters. By day, he is a book editor for the American Bar Association; by night, he will continue to crank out novels as long as there are readers willing to read them.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 16, 2014

    After reading the first book of Bloodsounder's Arc, I found myse

    After reading the first book of Bloodsounder's Arc, I found myself in a strange place. The writing was so crisp, and the premise so compelling, that I was eager to see where the story would do; at the same time, I felt a little unfulfilled. There were vast swaths of story that were being held back, due to the way the story was being presented. I withheld judgement overall, as I knew the second book was being written, and would hopefully pay off. And it did.

    In spades.

    In Veil, Salyards lifts the veil on a whole host of politics and poor choices, pragmatism and sibling rivalries that escalate quickly and with a load of action to boot. We see Arky go from clueless hick to grudging teammate to political pawn, and we watch it all through his eyes. The inherent humanity of each of the characters really begins to shine as we start to understand the past steps on their journey that brought them here, now. But this isn't a load of exposition.

    It takes about 5 pages for the blood to start flowing, and it is here where we see Salyards' mastery of his craft. The fights are intimate, harsh affairs, with none of the glory many authors need to infuse. This is hand-to-hand at its worst; staring into someone's eyes as the light goes out, blood spatters, fear, sweat and tears. The word "gritty" gets thrown around a lot, but these fights are the very definition of the word. Which considering there are quite a few of them, could easily overwhelm the reader, except for Salyards' other great gift: he has a killer sense of humor

    So in between fights, the razor sharp dialogue and the intricate characters spring off the page, and invite the reader into a camaraderie that, quite literally, laughs in the face of death. And it is only because of this beautiful character-building and sense of humor that the story shines with human needs, and human choices, and moves itself from the run of standard military fiction into a realm of must-read.

    And it is a must-read.

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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    I loved Scourge of the Betrayer, but yes, I wanted more. More of

    I loved Scourge of the Betrayer, but yes, I wanted more. More of that world. More background. More details on what's really at stake. Veil of the Deserters delivered it by the truckload The action, the pace, the language, ah, the language!!! Veil is a very well written and immensely engaging story. One scene for me personally struck home as nothing I have every read before. Painful, yet with a beauty that transcends the written word. I need the rest of this story. Veil is why people who read become people who read for life and come to love books. You read many many books in your life hoping for those rare few that strike home because they are complete, compelling and they resonate with you for the beauty they contain. Veil has action. It has heart. It has everything.

    I could not recommend this book more and thank Mr. Salyards for to only his effort, but for sharing his gift as a natural born storyteller.


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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Veil of the Deserters has made Jeff Salyards¿ Bloodsounder¿s Arc

    Veil of the Deserters has made Jeff Salyards’ Bloodsounder’s Arc one of the best Fantasy series out there. As the story has progressed, I’ve become more impressed with his gifts and convinced that anyone who enjoys Fantasy needs to treat themselves with Jeff’s books.

    The story is about an archivist who has nothing and no one but his skills in writing and translation. He is lonely and unsure where he fits in this grim world—a sentiment I share strongly, and enjoyed experiencing with him. A band of gruff soldiers hire him to record their upcoming adventure, which grows more dangerous and interesting in escalating levels of awesome. I’m not going to spoil anything here, but if you haven’t read any of these books, maybe check out my review of the first book, Scourge of the Betrayer. The bonus of reading this review is I get to show you some spoiler free goodies that you’d have to look forward to.

    I mentioned Jeff having multiple gifts. Each one makes him stand out among the best writers out there. In a story that is about ninety percent grim, Jeff’s superb talent for humorous dialogue really helps to keep you from feeling fatigued at all the tough things that happen. The characters surprise you with what they say, evoking the need to keep reading for more nuggets of wit and strategic plotting. All of his characters are smart and either worthy adversaries or allies, and with the POV of Arki the archivist, it was nice to see him earning his place among their company, as friend and foe.

    On top of the dialogue are his action scenes that are never easily won, and always among the most exciting I’ve read. As Arki grows more comfortable with the band of soldiers through the dialogue they share, he also grows a little more comfortable wielding his crossbow. He is no marksman by the end, but when he does have to use his weapon, it has the effect of strong tension and excitement.

    A theme that develops in this book in relation to its illustration of war is that whenever Arki or someone displays mercy, it ends up costing them tenfold. Add to this how well the end conflict wraps together all the development of worldbuilding and characters moving their pieces across the chessboard, and you have a concise, in-depth story. What else can I say about the worldbuilding and characters without spoiling anything? Or how about sharing some samples from the text? I’m going to refrain because they are so good in their context and execution that to share further or to give examples would ruin the experience. I stake my reputation as a reviewer on the solid and often exceptional quality of these books.

    When it comes to star ratings for books, I’m afraid this one is not quite a five star for me, as highly as I still recommend it. 4.5 is the most accurate, with the first one being a solid 4. So there is improvement, in pacing, character development, worldbuilding, and a clearer plot, but I’m afraid as a whole it isn’t among my top tier of books. It is setting the stage for the next one to likely land in that category, but this one rang more true to the sense of “very good” than evoking a “wow,” response. There are parts that I wish read a little quicker and I’m hoping for the best plot twists, character empathy moments and worldbuilding revelations to amp up some more. Still, that’s being quite picky. As I said at the beginning, I think this is a must-read for Fantasy fans.

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