Review: War of the Nameless

  • Title:
    • War of the Nameless
  • Author:
    • A.J. Calvin
  • Release:
    • November 29, 2022
  • Format:
    • Paperback
  • Series:
    • Relics of War #3

So there’s this beautiful artwork of Ravin and the Dutchess, arm in am. The gorgeous Dutchess has a smirk on her face and Ravin is this handsome, dark-skinned guy. They look like they’re on their way to cause havoc in the queen’s court. Then there’s the cover art of book 2, where Ravin looks like this pale-skinned, haggard bum who’s about to plunder the queen’s treasure. What the hell’s up with that?! They did our boy dirty!! #JusticeForRavin!

All seriousness aside, those two are fucking adorable together. They’re such a cute couple. Even if they never admit their true feelings for one another, they’re obviously in love and deserve each other and I hope both characters have a happy ending together. Ravin is tied with Dranamir as my flavorite character in the series.

I love the world-building in this series. My least flavorite character, Aardvark the Scorpion Man, is always bitching about how his brother fell in love with a human and how he’s going to be exiled. Fuck off, son. They’re grown-ass adults. Let them be happy together. It’s mentioned throughout the series that Dranamir made his race. At some point in book 2 I believe, it’s also mentioned that giant scorpions used to roam the desert and are now extinct.

This whole series, I’ve been wondering if Dranamir’s magic could be reversed. Would they even want it to be? Would they give up their thousand years of culture? If the lower halves of the scorpions were used and the top halves of the humans used, do they even have the necessary DNA to be split? Would new legs have to be crafted? And that’s why I love this world-building! It’s so compelling, the entire time I’m reading, my mind is going off on these tangents about the lore, cultures, history, and how it all works. In most books, I find characters to be as compelling as a sack of rocks. In this series, they’re all interesting. Well, ‘cept for Aardvark. Fuck him. Fucking whiny ass complainer. Tell Flariel to eat coal. Better to die Blademon’s General than to be Flariel’s Pawn and live in fear your whole life.

One aspect I continue to appreciate is the head-hopping. Nobody ever overstays their welcum, and it’s nice to see scenes from the perspective of somebody whose head we’ve lived in for a bit. It’s fun to speculate on what they’re thinking as well. Instead of telling us what the villains are up to, we get to see it from Dramamir’s twisted perspective and it adds a lot of depth to each scene and character. Some of my flavorites are when I get to view Ravin from Aardvark’s PoV and vice versa. It’s another part of why I can’t stand him. Here’s Ravin, this genuinely decent human being who’s just trying to help, and then Aardvark takes every chance he gets to go “I don’t trust this guy….” BITCH! He saved your fucking sorry ass from Dranamir and the other soulless, you goddamn ingrate! He’s done nothing but go out of his way to help and you…….. Sorry, I get a little carried away thinking about that fucking dirtbag.

Book 3 isn’t super combat-heavy if you’re going into this with a bloodlust. (At least so far.) I’m reviewing this 224 pages in, ’cause I’m dying to talk about this book. I think it’s brilliant. So it may have more combat later on, but it’s primarily been setting up the final battle(s). Personally, I enjoy the pacing. It doesn’t feel too slow, nor does it feel rushed; It feels as if it’s progressing along at a believable rate that will lead to a satisfying conclusion with a final, epic battle for the fate of the world.

If the ending sucks, I’m just going to rip those pages out and write fan fiction. Beware of spoilers for the true ending in that case: Ravin and the Dutchess get married, and Aardvark dies at the hands of Flariel and Dranamir simultaneously. Emra and Patak, and the 2 Murkor men whose names I can totally remember how to spell get to be happy together, regardless of what anyone else thinks. And ignore that scene where Dranamir destroys Scherock, the serpent with the cool name. He’s too cool to die and actually went on to be a legend. Whether a good or bad one wasn’t really clarified, sorry. Totally has nothing to do with my lack of imagination, the lore is just really unclear. And Ravin or some other mage exposition dumps on whether or not it’s even possible to turn the scorpion men back into humans.

….. Speaking of…. how the holy fuck do they sleep?!?! I’ve been wondering as I’ve read all 3 books. Do they lay backward, into their scorpion bodies? Wouldn’t that make their abdomens ripped? Do they lean forward? Do they have special harnesses to stay upright?! In one scene, Patak is said to be lying face down on a pile of blankets. Do they all travel with large piles of blankets to nap comfortably on?! I need to know, dammit!! Also, poor Patak! Have you ever tried sleeping on your fucking face? That shit ALWAYS gives me horrible neck pain the next day and I regret it every single time.

I’m also not going to pretend like I’m not at least a little bit interested in how their anatomy works. Don’t you judge me! How am I supposed to read all of these scenes about how Emra and Patak are in love and not wonder how that works? Obviously, I’m not going to ask, that’s their personal business; I’m just saying I’m curious.

This is a bit less serious than my usual reviews. Remember when I said that at the start? What did you think I meant by that!? If you’re 2 books in and still can’t decide if this series is for you, I seriously have no idea what the hell to tell you. Just fucking buy it already. At least get closure. If you haven’t read any of the books yet, listen, I’m sorry I spoiled the alternate “just in case” ending, but that’s on you. Just buy them and experience the “real” ending if that’s your thing.

I received this as a complimentary copy while participating in a book tour for book 2, The Talisman of Delucha. The views I expressed are my own. I wasn’t asked to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval. And it’s not as if an author alive would pay somebody to write an unhinged rant about their favorite aspects of world-building, lore, and characters anyway.

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