The Demon Cycle meets The Wheel of Time in this action-packed adventure! From New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed videogame writer Drew Karpyshyn comes the third and final novel in an original epic fantasy trilogy for fans of Terry Goodkind, Peter V. Brett, and Brandon Sanderson.
Four unlikely champions, each touched with Chaos magic at birth, are all that can stop the return of Daemron the Slayer, a hero who became a god—and then a demon. Exiled by the Old Gods, Daemron has long plotted his vengeful return. Now that moment is at hand, as the barrier imprisoning him—the Legacy—crumbles.
Armed with mighty Talismans, the four champions—Keegan, a wizard beset with self-doubt; Cassandra, a seer terrified by her own future; Scythe, a peerless warrior whose only weak spot is a broken heart; and Vaaler, a prince without a kingdom—seek the Keystone, a fabled place where, or so it is said, the Legacy can be restored.
But the plots of the Slayer are cunning and deep, and even the most noble heart can be twisted by the tainted magic of Chaos—as Keegan, Cassandra, Scythe, and Vaaler will soon discover.
Praise for Chaos Unleashed
“A rich fantasy tale dripping with dark elements of horror and driven by . . . characters that will have you flipping pages deep into the night to see what happens next.”—Roqoo Depot
Praise for Drew Karpyshyn’s Chaos Born series
“Karpyshyn’s doom-laden spin on myth and magic invigorates ancient archetypes . . . as if Michael Moorcock’s decadence were filtered through J.R.R. Tolkien’s heroism.”—Publishers Weekly, on The Scorched Earth
“Thoroughly entertaining . . . an engrossing story that’s easy to dive into and hard to leave.”—Roqoo Depot, on Children of Fire
The torpid final volume of the Chaos Born trilogy (after The Scorched Earth) reintroduces its array of archetypal characters and multiple narrative threads for new readers, but as a consequence, the plot moves glacially slowly for those not already invested. Reader involvement is hampered by bland, obvious dialogue. Mage Keegan, warrior Scythe, and visionary Jerrod try to overcome exhaustion and depression while deciphering the best way to use magical talismans to oppose their foe, the demigod Daemron. Their wounded compatriot Cassandra guards the talisman crown, accepting aid from sensible healer Methodis, Chaos mage Rexol, and brutish pirate Bo-Shing. Meanwhile, warrior nomad Shalana and exiled Danaan prince Vaaler meander across the fantasy landscape, semi-accidentally building an army as they seek to aid Keegan and face down generic zealot Yasmin. The welcome reunion of Keegan and Scythe with Cassandra is marred by a brief, tension-free final showdown that does little to salvage a lackluster narrative.
A Great Ending to the Series!
The end has come for The Chaos Born and Chaos Unleashed does a good job of wrapping up this fantastic series. It’s a rich fantasy tale dripping with dark elements of horror and driven by a character focused plot. The result is emotional investment in the characters that will have you flipping pages deep into the night to see what happens next. With this final book in the trilogy, Drew Karpyshyn draws up a satisfying conclusion to the series. For those who have already begun the journey, this is a must buy, but for those who haven’t jumped in yet, it’s worth checking out.
"But somehow she knew this already tragic quest wouldn’t end without more bloodshed. And she was willing, even eager, to watch the crimson rivers flow." -Chaos Unleashed
In Chaos Unleashed, readers will get to see the final step of the journey for the children born under the blood moon. Keegan, Jerrod and Scythe must venture across the Southlands to make their way to Callastan. Along the way, they’ll have to deal with roving bands of mercenaries and zealous inquisitors trying to purge the world of magic users. Elsewhere, Vaaler the Danaan prince and his barbarian companion Shalana travel across the perilous plains of the Frozen East as they, too, venture toward Callastan. Already there, Cassandra holds up in Callastan, recovering from her injuries, protecting the crown, and waiting for the inevitable attack from the Order who is poised to assault the city. Yet the battle for Callastan is not the climax of the story. Instead, it is yet another obstacle for what must be the final battle: the standoff between the Chaos Born and Daemron the Slayer and his army of chaos spawn.
The adventure leading up to the final battle holds some interesting and fun surprises. Within the 392 pages of this final leg of the series, readers will get to go on a few more action packed trips with their favorite characters. There are battles both large and small, growth for the characters as they deal with their scars and flaws in preparation for the final conflict, and emotional moments as the elements of story come together. I have to admit, when I got to page 325, the tears were welling up. Anytime a story can garner that kind of reaction from me is a high note. I love it when I can get so lost in the story and the characters that the mere act of reading can become a transcendent experience. There’s no higher accomplishment than that when it comes to storytelling. So whether you enjoy seeing an exiled elf prince roaming the countryside with his honor guard of barbarian warriors freeing towns from the brutality of roving mercenaries, the horrific acts of a hell spawn bat creature serving his monstrous master through blood magic and subterfuge, or the simple and more down to earth transformation of an ex-priest who battles with his faith and what his purpose in life is, Chaos Unleashed has a little bit of everything for the discerning reader.
For my own part, Chaos Unleashed did several things extremely right in my eyes. First off, the relationship between Keegan and Scythe was handled very well. There’s an attraction, there’s a friendship, and there’s a deeper bond as they’re both meant to stop Daemron and save the world. Karpyshyn handles that relationship with care, showing both sides and the full range of emotions that are at war. To my great surprise, Jerrod goes through a transformation in this story that really elevated his character and made him someone I liked. I loved seeing the conflict develop for him as he struggled with his faith, his vision, and the reality crashing down around him. On top of that, seeing Methodis come back into the story was very cool. Early on in the series, he was a neat character, and I enjoyed how he was brought back in. Yet the true highlight for me was Vaaler. Throughout the series, Vaaler become my favorite character, and in this book he has some great moments. While his destiny leads him to be just outside of the limelight, Drew has some fun with his character and it was a treat to see him and Shalana going around and playing hero. If there was one character who really had their head together and got the best of all worlds, it was him.
The Chaos Born may not be the new Lord of the Rings or a replacement for the Drizzt books, but it’s a fun ride through a fantasy realm populated with rich characters and intriguing bits of horror and adventure. It’s a world where magic is chaotic and destructive. A place where the gods sacrificed themselves to hold back a legion of would be tyrants. Through this story, a group of heroes must work together with the ancient talismans imbued with the magic of the old world in order to save the current one. Chaos Unleashed brings that journey to an end. Along the way there are surprises and emotional transformations, but there’s also resolution and a completion to the tale. Having enjoyed this ride from beginning to end, I give Chaos Unleashed a five out of five.