Review: “The Game of War” by Glen Dahlgren

The Game of War is a prequel to the book Child of Chaos, which is much-beloved by indie fantasy readers but which I haven’t read yet (it’s next in my queue, thanks to the author generously providing both for review!) It is an action-forward young adult fantasy which tells the story of Dantess, a young man who dreams of becoming a priest of the god of War in a society ruled by temples.

Dantess was a very compelling protagonist–I can definitely see why he was such a beloved character in the first book. I’m excited to see him interact more with the larger world, but he also made for a great center of attention.

I also loved the worldbuilding in this book! The concept of these bureaucratic temples, each with their own individual cultures–and each run by priests who were originally brought there as, essentially, slaves–is totally fascinating, and it was brilliantly executed, with enough detail to make perfect sense to a reader new to the world but never feeling infodumpy or excessive.

I will say that I didn’t love the author’s prose style. It is very action-forward and matter-of-fact, without as much detail or beautiful prose as I tend to prefer. I think this style would be wonderful for folks who sometimes struggle to get into big fantasy books, though–one of the comps is to Percy Jackson, and I definitely see this style being great for the reluctant readers that series was written to support. Just not for me.

However, the characters and plot were excellent, and I’m really excited to dive into the rest of the series!


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