The penultimate book on the shortlist is another one by Sam Sykes; sorry I know this is starting to feel a like a bit of a Sam Sykes love in but these really are cracking books. The Mortal Tally is book two of the Bring Down Heaven trilogy and I fear if I’d managed to read the third book in time that would have made the list too. Anyway here we go:
The Mortal Tally is the second book in the Bring Down Heaven Trilogy and follows right on the heels of the first book The City Stained Red. It has everything you’ve come to expect from a Sam Sykes book thrilling action, dark humour and a deep and innovative world.
The characters from the first come back but with added depth as they lurch from one bad decision to another as they try to save the city of Cier’Djaal, and their own skins, in a world gone mad. The characters were well rounded before, but you get a real insight into them as they are all pushed to the limits. They are all flawed, some terrible people, but you will be invested in them and rooting for them to succeed none the less.
I knew from reading other Sam Sykes books I would like this. Still, beyond the epic monsters, evil gods, murder, betrayal and intrigue, there was one thing that made this really shine. I genuinely had no idea what was going to happen. With most books, no matter how good, you might not know what will happen minute to minute, but you know a ring will end up in a volcano or the hero will get the girl. In this, I had no idea how it was going to end until I read it, and that is a rare thing indeed.
The Mortal Tally is a rare beast both dark and funny, action-packed and meaningful, and it keeps you guessing right to the end. It is a flawless book that hooks you early and keeps you invested right until the thrilling finale. I can’t wait to read the next book.