#Marchofthesequels Review: The Weeping Sigil (The Dreadbound Ode Book 2) by Jordan Loyal Short

Adrift in the void, Henrik’s rescue is only a prelude to slavery.

But his new life on Tyria is not at all what he expected. When the illustrious House of Quoll purchases him, Henrik finds himself living in the home of his old enemy, Prefect Brasca Quoll. Desperate to hide the truth of his last days on Heimir, Henrik dives into the murderous game of Tyrianite politics. Devastated by the catastrophe on the Norn homeworld, the Federation teeters on the brink of civil war.

While the Shining Ones maneuver their champions for the final confrontation, Henrik’s fevered visions unveil the scope of Moriigo’s nightmarish rebellion.

Aboard a stolen voidcraft, Brohr and Lyssa hurtle into the depths of the starry abyss, on a desperate exodus in search of safe haven. But the outer reaches of the system are full of strange worlds, haunted ruins, and bizarre cults.

As anarchy grips the streets of Tyria, Henrik vows to reveal the true peril facing the Federation: Moriigo’s return! While rival electors, assassins, and federal inquisitors plot the downfall of House Quoll, Henrik must bind himself to the future of his onetime enemies, lest the horrors of his prophetic visions come to pass!

Amazon | goodreads

My Review

I received an audiobook code from the author in return for an honest review – thank you Jordan Loyal Short. My opinions are my own.

The audiobook of The Weeping Sigil is narrated by Aaron Smith and I found the narration to be excellent. The voices were fantastic and incredibly varied, with a range of regional accents and a chilling voice for Moriigo, one of the mysterious ‘Hidden’. The women sound female enough to be believable. There is plenty of excitement imbued into the action sequences by the differing speeds of the narration and the descriptive passages are delivered with care making it easy to visualise the amazing locations conjured up by the author. I will definitely look out for Aaron Smith’s narrations in the future.

The story continues on from where Book 1 of The DreadBound Ode, The Skald’s Black Verse left off, with a small band of Norn refugees from Heimir escaping through space on a Tyrian void ship along with a handful of Tyrians they have managed to overpower. Meanwhile Henrik, the dead mayor’s son is also escaping on board a void ship built by his father, ‘The Muse’.

The action of this book takes place in multiple different locations with the different factions from Book 1 following separate story arcs as they escape their collapsing homeworld of Heimir.

Descriptive worldbuilding is one of Jordan Loyal Short’s strengths and I found it very easy to visualize the places he describes in such intricate detail:

“The Clockwork. A wonder. An island in the void. A construct of the ancient labors of the Shining Ones. To Petra, it had always looked like nothing so much as the wheel of a colossal ship, wrought from black iron. Distant pinpoints of starlight framed the wondrous relic against a twinkling curtain of blackness. It was a marvel without compare, a testament to the power and brilliance of the shining era. Thousands of souls called it home, a giant cog suspended in the void, inexorably turning, a hub of commerce, a port that asked few questions. Some said that when the Twilight War ended, not a living soul remained within the Clockwork’s iron halls. Their bones moldered, even as the lights stayed on. It shone for ages, a beacon in the night, the souls of who knew what still powering the eternal isle, the Clockwork.”

With the geographical scope of this novel broadening from the previous book to a number of new locations, there are also many new characters introduced, including the Elector Bostar Quoll, the unbending father of the man Henrik killed on Heimir, by whom Henrik ends up being bought as a slave. Bostar’s grandson Lycus becomes fond of Henrik without realizing this man is his father’s murderer. The weeping sigil of the title is the brand of ownership put onto Henrik’s forehead which never properly heals and causes infection and sight loss for poor Henrik. Henrik is a Binder with magical talent and rises up the ranks of slaves to a fairly good position in Bostar’s household.

The skald, Brohr, Rogan and Tor and his daughters become separated from the other Norn refugees when their ship is attacked ,while visiting The Clockwork for supplies, by an opportunistic band of pirates hoping to sell them all as slaves. Many of the Norns die in the attack but a few are taken including the captain Lyssa who Brohr becomes determined to track down and save from her fate.

Brohr is sometimes spoken to by Moriigo, one of the legendary Hidden who seems to be drawing him towards the Anvil, a slave market with a dreadful reputation. He assumes Lyssa will be there and he’ll be able to save her. All the while Brohr struggles with his identity as a Raag, trying to keep his terrifying temper under wraps:

“…he was a freak, a killer, a Skald, a Raag…

No one had asked him if he wanted to be haunted, to be cursed, a butcher, a horror. He did not walk a path of freedom, but one of fate.”

The Romanesque Tyrianite political structure, culture and society is fairly complex and detailed and much more to the fore in this installment as Henrik’s story takes place on their home-world. Tyria is described in wonderfully evocative detail, bringing it to life:

“Heat boiled off the cobblestones, a mirage doubling the distant domes and obelisks across the river. Henrik had never smelled a true city before, and even though tome after tome had been written to marvel at the ingenious system of sewers and aqueducts that serviced Tyria, Henrik felt as if he would suffocate from the cloying stench of it all. They passed a street serving as some sort of wholesale meat market, the carcasses of goats and cattle skinned and strung up on hooks in the blistering sun, a host of flies thriving on the carnage.”

There are many familiar characters who do not survive this dark story and the world is a desperately grim one without much hope. There are suggestions of torture and fear of rape but most of the violence happens off the page. The ending is something of a surprise and a cliffhanger which hints nicely at what is to come in the third and final book in this science fantasy saga, Travels in the Dark.

About the Author

Jordan Loyal Short is an author of epic fantasy and a small business owner. He has worked in a variety of industries, as a waiter, bartender, copywriter and more. He lives in Washington state with his wife where he is currently daydreaming about the end of the world.
You can visit his webpage at www.jordanloyalshort.com

One thought on “#Marchofthesequels Review: The Weeping Sigil (The Dreadbound Ode Book 2) by Jordan Loyal Short

  1. Pingback: March of the Sequels Hub | Sue's Musings

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