Dawn of War by Tim Marquitz

The Grol, a monstrous race that has long sought to overrun and destroy the fortified city-state of Lathah, now appears to have the mystical weapons they need to do it. Unfortunately, no one in Lathah is willing to believe that the Grol can now succeed where they failed before, and it is up to an exiled, disgraced former royal guard named Arrin to somehow convince them of the threat–or, failing to do that, to find allies to stand with Lathah in its hour of need.

This is the first book in Tim Marquitz’s epic Blood War Trilogy, more grim and brutal in tone than you’d find in his Demon Squad series. It’s set on a complex world with a lot of layers and twists that held my interest, and more than enough bloody and gruesome battle scenes to give it a very visceral kick. I’m looking forward to seeing how things get worse for the protagonists in the next volume.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and several previously published and forthcoming short stories. He can be found via his website, his blog A Taste of Strange, as @gwox on Twitter, and in many other far-flung places on the Internet.