Review: The Midnight Dunes by Steven Kelliher

36369322Alright, this one took me a million years to get to, because this year got so crazy at some point that I’ve been sinking more than swimming in books. This… isn’t a bad thing (but it can be a little stressful at times, lol)! *glug* So, I never forgot it, but I always had a deadline for something else. WELL NO LONGER! 😀

So, I did receive a copy of this from the author, and so thank you to the author for that review copy.

Some say they never should have left. Others, that they should never go back.

For Talmir Caru, the world has left him little choice. With his people balanced on the knife-edge of a war beyond reckoning, the Captain of Hearth must brave the deserts of his ancestors to find the power left buried there – a power that could provide the Emberfolk their only hope should their wayward champions fail. 

They say the Faey can hurt as easily as heal. 

Iyana Ve’Ran, living legacy of the Faey Mother, is beginning to tap newly-discovered powers of her own. While her lost sister seeks to put an end to the War of Sages, Iyana just wants to put the world she loves back together again. But some things must be broken before they can mend. 

They say only death waits beneath the sands. 

Despite deep misgivings about returning to the Embers’ ancestral home, Karin Reyna, First Runner of Last Lake, has sworn to keep his companions alive throughout their journey. In so doing, he will rediscover what made his a name for stories before their time.

“Anger is not a vice, Iyana. I know it feels like an indulgence, but anger is a length of steel, or iron… even Everwood.” He ran his fingers along the oiled roots that made up his chair. “It can be shaped in an image of its wielder’s will. Work it right, and you may turn up something like righteousness.”

This may well be my favorite book in this series thusfar, to be honest. While I don’t at all dislike the exploits of Kole Reyna and Linn Ve’Ran, for some reason I found myself so much more engaged in the exploits of Linn’s sister Iyana and Kole’s father Karin, and those in their caravan traveling into their people’s ancestral homeland.

While Kole, Linn, and their company are off in another part of the world trying to end a war, a caravan of Emberfolk (and some of the Faeykin, like Iyana and a mysterious man named Sen) are traveling into the desert to look for a hidden power that may help save everyone in case Kole’s team fails in their quest.

In the desert they find a man named Pevah, who is one of the Sages, and it is his self-given task to guard a mysterious and dangerous part of the desert called the Midnight Dunes, which houses… something bad. Something very bad.

Among Pevah’s people, desert nomads and some refugees from a country in the north, is a man named Ceth, who is a Landkist unlike any that they’ve seen before, and he uses his power quite well as Pevah’s right hand man.

What is in the Midnight Dunes? To find out, there must surely be… shenanigans!

This book was really well written, and has some really lovely prose, I must say. It’s as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside, for sure. I really ended up liking a lot of these characters, perhaps moreso than some of the more present protagonists in the two previous volumes. I have always found Iyana interesting, but I found myself really latching on to her and to Creyath Mit’Ahn in this one, and wondering about the mysterious Sen. Ceth was another really interesting character that I found mysterious and interesting as well. But Talmir Caru and Karin Reyna stole the show here for me, the two people on this journey that are not Landkist but are still some of the most badass guys around. You really get to see them bring their all in this volume, and I really enjoyed that.

The plot twisted and turned, and while there were both slow and fast paced parts, I never found myself bored with it or wanting to set it aside for something else. It was quite long, and I did find myself having to take breaks, but not in a way that made it a slog or a chore to read or anything suchlike.

The last 10% of this book or so was riveting AF and I couldn’t be convinced not to read it all in one go, despite it being around dinner time. Well, dinner will have to wait! *reads* The plot wrapped up really well and completed this story arc, leaving me with questions, but not cliffhangery ones.

Ceth reminds me of Szeth in more ways than one. (click for source)

All told, this one was a nice romp in the world of the Landkist, and though it followed an entirely different set of characters from the first two books, was a pleasant deviation from that plotline into another, in my opinion, probably because I really liked this set of characters. I’m still excited to get back to Kole and Linn though and find out what’s happening on their end. I had 4/5 stars of a great time with this one!


Thanks again to the author for the review copy… from a billion years ago. 😀

One thought on “Review: The Midnight Dunes by Steven Kelliher

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: