The Spider shines as an expertly crafted military epic fantasy, throwing in a bit of mystery and thrills alongside strong characters and an endless battle between north and south.
Carew laid out a fascinating world in The Wolf, and this second addition to the series continues that tradition by deepening our understanding of the proud, fierce people who call the North home.
As with any military fantasy, there are battles, infighting, and betrayals aplenty, leading to many tense moments. The adventure never ceases as we follow along on conquests against increasingly terrifying foes. Roper’s plans for the future of his people are grandiose and seemingly impossible, but perfectly in keeping with the larger-than-life ruler at the center of an epic fantasy.
Carew’s strongest writing instinct lies in his mastery of dialogue. The conversations are a heavy mix of strategy and the everyday workings of a leader trying to keep his kingdom running smoothly. It’s always entertaining as we see into the intellectual side of military operations. So much thought goes into each decision, and that insight into the process adds thrills to the plot. Overall, The Spider is a worthy successor to one of the best novels of 2018.
By Leo Carew
Published by Orbit
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.