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Friday, April 29, 2022

Sins Of The Mother (The War Eternal# 4) by Rob J. Hayes (reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website                                                                                                      
Order Sins Of The Mother over HERE (USA) and HERE (UK)  
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of Spirits Of Vengeance                    
Read FantasyBook Critic’s review of Pawn’s Gambit                               
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of Never Die                                                 
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of Along The Razor's Edge              
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Lessons Never Learned          
Read FantasyBook Critic’s review of From Cold Ashes Risen                          
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of City Of Kings                                   
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of Where Loyalties Lie                        
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Fifth Empire Of Man           
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Heresy Within                       
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Colour Of Vengeance         
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Price Of Faith  
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of It Takes A Thief To Catch A Sunrise
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of It Takes A Thief To Start A Fire
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Pawn’s Gambit Release Interview                         
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Spirit’s Of Vengeance Release Interview                          

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Rob J. Hayes was born and brought up in Basingstoke, UK. As a child he was fascinated with Lego, Star Wars and Transformers that fueled his imagination and he spent quite a bit of his growing up years playing around with such. He began writing at the age of fourteen however soon discovered the fallacies of his work. After four years at University studying Zoology and three years working for a string of high street banks as a desk jockey/keyboard monkey. Rob lived on a desert island in Fiji for three months. It was there he re-discovered his love of writing and, more specifically, of writing fantasy.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: In her darklight the world will burn.
Eskara Helsene is missing. She left her queendom, her friends, her children, even her own name behind. No one has seen the Corpse Queen for a decade.

When an old acquaintance turns up out of the blue, Eska has no choice but to investigate the murders and the holes in reality. Can she stop the murderer before the entire world is consumed? And will the conflict reveal her true nature?

FORMAT/INFO: Sins Of The Mother is 470 pages long divided into thirty-eight numbered chapters and a prologue. The narration is in third person omniscient view via Eskara Helsene solely. This book is the fourth volume in The War Eternal Series.

May 3, 2022 will mark the US and UK e-book and paperback publication of Sins Of The Mother and will be self-published by the author. Cover art is by Felix Ortiz &  Shawn T. King provides the design-typography.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: It's hard for a book IV of a pentology/quintology(?) to be absorbing and possibly be the best book of the series (so far). Three books have come before, they have (hopefully) established the main (and other) character(s), the world, the plot, etc. Book 4 is the penultimate book before the saga ends (hopefully with a bang rather than the alternative). So you can see why there would be so many reasons why realistically/statistically this book should not have been a five star read and possibly the best book in the series.

The story begins just over two decades after the events of From Cold Ashes Risen. We meet an older and far more wrinkled Eska who is passing off as a hedge witch in a small village called Wrysom. Going by the name Silva, she seems content. Things however do not stay idyllic as she’s asked to help out a local marshall with a disappearance of an entire village’s population. That investigation sounds ends up with a lot more questions and soon her past comes calling. Thus, Eska is forced to reevaluate many of her past actions and potentially help to stop a catastrophe from happening.

This book follows a similar path of the previous trilogy in the sense that we get a current timeline and a past timeline. The past story is absolutely crucial in finding out why Eska is where she is and what exactly happened after the events of From Cold Ashes Risen. This book is spot on with its title as Eska’s sordid past as a mother is further brought under a harsh spotlight. There’s just so many things going on plot wise and best of all, so many of the  future events hinted at, come to fruition. The story is also about a potential mystery that soon expands into a bigger race to stop a cataclysm.

There’s a couple of things that I wish to highlight about this without spoiling much. Primarily this book resolves a crucial mystery about the gods and history of the world. There have been past revelations in books II (The Lessons Never Learned) & III (From Cold Ashes Risen), but there is a major reveal here. This reveal absolutely is mind-blowing and further augments what has been revealed before. Crucially it goes to show how much and well the author has thought out the magic system and world history.  

Secondarily this book is all about Eska and her relationships and how crucially broken she has left them. I can’t reveal who specifically it is but it was sheer fun to read about. Eska always has been an act first and maybe think later person. Here we get to see the fruits of her actions and what carnage it has wrought on a personal and wider level. I loved how the author has never shied away from showing the damaging aspects of Eska’s actions rather giving us a hero’s view.

Here's why I think Rob J. Hayes succeeded beyond my (and hopefully his) wildest dreams:
- There's a mystery element to this story that plays out superbly until the end climax. Seriously kudos to the author for keeping the plot tension for over 100-110K words.
- I absolutely LOVED the climax and I cannot say anything about it. Zip, nada for spoiling anything and ruining the read for anyone.
-  The book is a lot less darker than its predecessors but has so much more emotional impact.
This book focusses on four female characters and is all about maternal bonds (both by blood and by fate). It focusses on how and why one becomes a mother and who can truly be called a mother. This is one area where Eska fans have an idea about what happened in the past. So you have an inkling about what to expect.

The action is interspersed within the book strongly and it all adds up until the fantastic climax. I really think this was one of the author’s better efforts amidst his recent books and so much so for a penultimate book that sets up the finale perfectly. Seriously, this book has made me so much more invested in the end, that is titled DEATH’S BEATING HEART. Which will hopefully be released on December 26th 2022.

CONCLUSION: Sins Of The Mother is a hard book to describe but not a hard book to love. It’s one of those titles that began on a quiet note but ends spectacularly. Kudos to Rob J. Hayes for writing a fantastic story that is a deeply feministic one but without the unnecessary clamour. Sins Of The Mother is a resplendent sequel that outshines everything that came before it. 



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