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Disciples of Chaos

DISCIPLES OF CHAOS by M.K. Lobb.

Titan Books. p/b. £9.99.

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins.

Despite all that had happened, despite all the burdens of their pasts, Damian and Roz had found their way to each other. She always knows where to find him – his father’s grave. Strength had not blessed Damian the way it had his father, but in the aftermath of recent losses, perhaps another Saint has touched Damian’s life.

Damian worries about the rage inside him. He worries that he does not feel the same as before. Worries that Roz will feel differently towards him. And worries that it felt good when he killed the Disciple of Chaos. It seems his position as security officer in the Palazzo is not safe either. Salvestro Agosti, disciple of Death, has been chosen as the new Chief Magistrate. Along with a new military presence, Agosti now holds Damian’s future in his hands, and young Venturi’s past is about to catch up with him very rapidly.

Milos, one of many Disciples of Chaos taken by the Palazzo as children and exiled in Brechaat, had been confined to the oubliettes of the Forgotten Keep until Calder saved him. Something has changed. Chaos’ power is growing.

Disciples Of Chaos is the concluding part of Lobb’s The Seven Faceless Saints duology, which focuses on the relationship between Damian and Roz as it grows ever more complex, deep-rooted and emotionally torn. Where in the first book, readers may have predicted where the intertwining relationship would take our protagonists, the story continues with both sides clearly depicted on the page; every moment of desire, anguish and guilt, along with every tear and every harsh acceptance of the future, is felt.

New character Milos takes on a brief point of view role and works alongside Calder, two instrumental characters living on the Brechaat side of war where Ombrazia’s unfavoured continue to be sent to fight. Roz’s desire to finally change the very power structure of her homeland – and put an end to the war that has already taken so much – may come to depend on these strangers and a visit to the very root of Chaos and Patience’s stories.

As before, the worldbuilding is incredibly solid, and this time, the wider view of the ongoing conflict helps to flesh out details that were left in the background of book one. The pace throughout is good; the visual description almost allows freeze-frames of significant moments of the narrative, and we have to admire the author’s conviction in allowing the story to go into those dark places and make such fundamental changes in their heroes.  

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