Book Review - Red Season Rising (Red Season #1) by D.M. Murray
A review of
Red Season Rising
I read the debut novel and first in book in the Red Season series by D.M. Murray. It proved a gritty and exciting read. Opening with a mysterious coordinated assassination in a frozen outpost in the mountains, it’s pretty much action from the beginning. We follow the exploits of Kalfinar, a soldier of the Free Provinces who is haunted by his past, and his cousin Broden as they seek to discover the origins of the strange grey skinned assassins with burning eyes. We are sucked into the intrigue and military action of the Red Season series, as the King Grunnxe of Solansia, a man thought to have died on the end of Kalfinar’s sword and the enemy of the Free Provinces is perhaps not quite as dead as once thought. The ensuing war is not simply between nations but between the very gods themselves as they vie for power through the manipulation of their chosen peoples.
There is a very religious overtone in these books, as the Free Provinces worship their god Dajda, Kalfinar and Broden’s old mentor and scholar Olmat directs them to others in the service of Dadja and the ‘church’ (for lack of a better word), which takes on quite a Christian vibe. The other god and its servants take on the demonic evil blood thirsty types as good and evil do battle. I enjoyed the character of Evelyne and her ‘holy quest’ that takes Kalfinar and Broden to far flung places in their search as they are pursued by demonic forces.
The strongest theme I noticed was the military theme, we follow the exploits of military officers and the fight scenes and battle sequences are very well done. The writing was great, in the opening chapters you almost felt the cold as they make their journey through the snow, the descriptions are vivid and the world is well rendered. The plot is fast paced and we get enough point of view characters and enough plot threads to keep us engaged throughout.
I particularly liked the whole living dead plot line, the monsters themselves were well done and the premise was well executed. It made for quite an unexpected and exciting additional foe. The battle scenes were particularly well done; we have a pair of brutal sieges both quite different and pivotal to the plot.
He has managed to cram a lot of themes, ideas and plot threads into the book and done an excellent job of pulling it off; at no point does it feel too crowded. I really enjoyed this opening novel to D.M. Murray’s Red Season series, Red Season Rising is definitely worth a read, especially if you are a fan of military fantasy. It’s not simply just a military fantasy book though it’s so much more and has a little bit of everything to cater to most fantasy reader’s tastes making it perhaps epic military fantasy? I don’t like to pigeon-hole things, so I will say instead It’s simply just a great read which I recommend you check out.
Thanks for reading,
Lee C. Conley