Review: Legacy of Brick & Bone

Legacy of Brick & Bone by Krystle Matar

Jen reviews Legacy of Brick & Bone, the second book in the Tainted Dominion series by Krystle Matar.

Thank you goes to Krystle Matar for the e-copy and the patience in waiting for a review. I’m a little slow these days in the turnaround times.

About the Book
Series:Tainted Dominion #2
Genre:Fantasy/epic
Publisher:Self-Published
Date of Publishing:April 24, 2023
Trigger Warnings:grim dark world nearly all apply.
Page count:1128
Book Blurb
Legacy of Brick & Bone by Krystle Matar

Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law betrays you?

It all started with the girl from the river: mutilated, tattooed, murdered. Tashué couldn’t help but look for answers and in the process, he uncovered the ugly truths being hidden by the very law he used to believe in—the law of the Authority.

Now he’s fighting for his life. Mere survival isn’t enough; he desperately wants to save his son from the Authority, and he wants revolution. At any cost.

Davik Kaine has been gathering power under everyone’s noses. Ruthless, ambitious, with a rebel army backing him, he wants revolution, too. He’s probably the only person powerful enough to protect Tashué from the looming implosion of the political field. And he’s the only person with the connections to save Jason.

He may also be responsible for the death of the girl from the river.

Is making peace with Davik worth it, if it saves Tashué’s son from the Authority?

If Tashué plays along with what Davik wants, can Tashué get retribution for the girl from the river?

Quote of the Book
Quote Background

“Spoken like a true hedonist,” Allie muttered.

Ishmael shrugged. “Spoken like someone who’s only wish is that they had a little bit more time with the people I loved. Spoken like someone’s who’s deepest regrets are all the things I left unsaid and all the chances I didn’t take.”

Song of the Book


I had so many songs from this band chosen for this book. They had the sound I was looking for, and One by One is a favourite of mine but Cards are Down really suited Lorne’s portion of the story.

Cards are Down by The Blue Stones

Review


This review was a bit of a struggle to write – I find that a problem in any follow-up book of a series that I am reviewing but with Legacy of Brick & Bone it felt like I have been pulling my own teeth for months now to get this written. There is so much of everything that I want to talk about and all of it is just spoilers galore. In order to get these thoughts out of my head I’ve decided to hell with it, I’ll just ramble on about my favourite characters and hope it feels somewhat orderly.

The story set-up runs similarly to Legacy of the Brightwash, taking place over the course of days/weeks with the time frame here, leading up to the big fight between Lorne and another pugilist named Ari. This is a huge event! Not only because Ari is well-known and loved in the city and Lorne is an unknown up-and-coming fighter that has the backing of some big names but also, it’s huge, because it’s going to be the distraction that is needed to break Jason out of the Rift. That’s my simplified to the max version of part of the story.

There is a little bit of set-up in the beginning to remind us of all the power plays going on politically in the background but once we get through that and kind of find our feet again, it’s smooth sailing. Mostly because Legacy of Brick & Bone jumps in right after the last book, so there’s no need for catching us up. There is also a very nice “what came before” included, which was super helpful for those of us who read Legacy of the Brightwash a year or so ago.

I feel like this series has a little bit for everyone.

In Legacy of the Brightwash I was all about Tashue and Stella, and their will they/won’t they get together. The sexual tension maxed to the eyeballs between them kept me turning pages while getting familiar with the world. (Just so you know, I’m all about the chase in any romance and lose a bit of interest when they get together. Matar kept them apart most of this book so while they are together, they aren’t together for a good portion of the story.)

In Legacy of Brick & Bone, I was here for Lorne and everything to do with the club, the power play between the rival gangs, and having to work together. I just loved the setting, particularly the boxing focus. I mean, I love any sort of up close and personal fighting but I really really enjoyed the boxing. It might have been a bit of nostalgia on my part, I grew up watching boxing – my mom was a huge fan so my mental picture of Lorne was this kind of mash-up of a grumpy Tom Hardy and Sugar Ray Leonard. I grew to really like Lorne’s character and his perpetual crankiness. 

The build-up to the big fight was superb – everyone has their own agenda and as the tension builds so does the worry that it’s going to go to hell in a handbasket, and Jason will be stuck in the Rift forever. Matar excels at building tension. It doesn’t matter if it’s sexual or just general story tension, she can raise your blood pressure with it.

I generally like political intrigues so I did enjoy that rising shift in power in the other parts of the story.  You can feel it building. The whole city/country is ready for change, and it’s close to teetering over into chaos at some point soon. But for whatever reason I think I found that to be the parts I enjoyed the least in the story (don’t get me wrong, we are talking on a scale of really like to adore here). That’s likely more to do with all the characters that are on that side of the story. The ones I loved most, were elsewhere for the most part.

Though I do love Illea to pieces – she’s a sly fox of a woman, manipulating her own game and I just like how she unabashedly uses whatever and whoever she needs, to secure her future while still being a likeable and relatable sexy lady -, but like I said, this time around, I was all about Lorne, and also Vasska. (I can’t wait to see how that mess with his grandpa is going to play out.)

The short and sweet: Legacy of Brick & Bone is a huge second book – not only for its size but everything about it IMO, cements the promise of the Tainted Dominion becoming a top series of this decade.

Our Judgement
They Shall Be Remembered - 4.5 Crowns

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